Gaspard Sebag, 24 June 2021
Late M&A banker Jean-Marc Forneri’s Swiss lawyer and wealth manager were found guilty of helping him conceal assets and dodge taxes in a French crackdown on those who facilitate financial crime.
The Swiss lawyer, John Metzger, was given an 18-month suspended sentence and a fine of 300,000 euros ($359,000) by the Paris criminal court on Thursday and the wealth manager, Michel Glas, got a one-year suspended term and a 150,000 euro penalty.
Presiding Judge Christine Mée said the two must each pay 50,000 euros in damages to the French state, a plaintiff in the case, and are banned from doing their jobs for five years but didn’t provide any further detail on the court’s reasoning.
An attorney Glas, who has denied any wrongdoing, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi, an attorney for Metzger, said his client appealed his conviction immediately, suspending the sentence.
The ruling comes as French enforcers cast the dragnet far and wide to deter potential enablers of tax fraud. The Parquet National Financier’s landmark cases in recent years have included the conviction of five former UBS Group AG bankers and a record penalty of $5.4 billion for the Zurich-based lender, all of which have appealed.