French judge calls for crackdown on money laundering with new ruling

Legal experts behind the case call the court's decision 'historic'

New York Weekend Edition /
Oct.October 29, 2017 10:30 AM

In a case where the verdict symbolized more than the fines and punishment it meted out, lawyers are touting a French court ruling as a defining moment for international money laundering.

The son of Equatorial Guinea president, Nguema Obiang, was found guilty by Paris criminal court of buying assets including real estate and luxury goods like sports cars in the country with “ill-gotten gains,” according to Bloomberg News.

On an annual salary of about $80K as a government minister, he bought a $116 million mansion near the Champs-Élysées among other lavish purchases. He was sentenced to a suspended three-year jail term and fined almost $35 million.

The judge also spoke out against the Société Générale SA and France’s central bank describing their “complacency” to these transactions played a “decisive role” that ultimately allowed money laundering to take place for years.

William Bourdon, a lawyer with Transparency International, called it a “historic” ruling.

“It’s an unprecedented and global message the court is sending to kleptocrats. It is the beginning of the end for this rule of impunity,” he said to Bloomberg News.

[Bloomberg] — E.K. Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
With a cooling trade war, stocks perform well, including real estate. (Credit: iStock)
Real estate stocks push up this week as U.S.-China trade tensions ease
Real estate stocks push up this week as U.S.-China trade tensions ease
416 West 25th Street and Maverick Real Estate Partners principal David Aviram (Credit: Google Maps and LinkedIn)
Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case
Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case
817 Broadway and Taconic co-CEOs Charles Bendit and Paul Pariser (Taconic)
Taconic lands $125M refi for renovated Union Square office building
Taconic lands $125M refi for renovated Union Square office building
Lev Capital raises $30M Series A round
Lev raises $30M Series A round
Lev raises $30M Series A round
Tavros Capital Partners' Nicholas Silvers and Dov Barnett with a rending 351 West 14th Street (Tavros, BKSK Architects)
Tavros nabs refi on Meatpacking District properties it wants to redevelop
Tavros nabs refi on Meatpacking District properties it wants to redevelop
Clockwise from left: One Vanderbilt, 111 Wall Street, 520 and 524 Broadway (SL Green and Google Maps)
These were the largest Manhattan real estate loans in June
These were the largest Manhattan real estate loans in June
KKR's Henry Kravis (Getty, iStock)
KKR shatters CRE lending record as construction, borrower demand pick up
KKR shatters CRE lending record as construction, borrower demand pick up
Lawrence Omansky and 160 Chambers Street (Facebook, Google Maps)
A Tribeca co-op’s odd struggle with the man who created it
A Tribeca co-op’s odd struggle with the man who created it
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...