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Carbon tax fraud: nine years in jail for the former teacher of Marseilles

The accounts were not good. A former math teacher, Christiane Melgrani, was sentenced on Wednesday in Paris to nine years in prison and a fine of three million euros, following the "carbon tax" fraud trial of which she was the principal

This charismatic sexagenarian was considered one of the three main actors in this colossal fraud by which 385 million euros were subtracted from the French tax authorities between 2008 and 2009. The two others, one of which is under arrest warrant, were sentenced to eight and ten years in prison by the Criminal Court of Paris, which judges 36 defendants in this file.

The financier Gérard Chetrit, 48, who attended the deliberations by videoconference since his prison , was sentenced to eight years in prison and a fine of € 10 million for his role as "trader" of the scam. He denounced a "bogus" judgment.

The other "trader" of the fraud, Eric Castiel, installed in Israel, was sentenced to 10 years and 20 million euros of fine, a sentence explained by his involvement and its absence at trial

The "swindle of the century"

Of the 385 million euros, "200 million are still in nature" "because Ms. Melgrani, Mr. Chetrit, Mr. Castiel and the others are particularly clever people, that it amuses ", explained the president.

The 33 other defendants, involved to varying degrees, were sentenced to suspended sentences to six years in prison and 200,000 euros d

Thirty-six persons were summoned to appear before the 32nd chamber of the Paris Criminal Court for a river trial held at the end of January. In total, eight defendants are the subject of arrest warrants and their eight chairs remained empty in this case dubbed "the swindle of the century."

A lawsuit out of standard

Among them, a waitress, a sculptor, an organizer of parties, retirees, a promoter … suspected to varying degrees of having participated in the embezzlement of the jackpot, or to its bleaching, by becoming investors, managers of straw or traders. The spotlight was mostly on Christiane Melgrani. At the age of 59, this former teacher with a strong mouth, now manager of a piano bar and then "commercial engineer" in a building company, would have released this fraud since 2006. She defends herself but her past played against her. : Melgrani has already been sentenced for drug trafficking and scams

Christiane Melgrani, who appeared detained, was tried on charges of "VAT scams", "organized money laundering" and "criminal conspiracy", like two others Key protagonists: Eric Castiel, settled in Israel and under arrest warrant, and Gerard Chetrit, who admitted to having played the role of trader. He will also appear detained because he was able to gather only 38 of the 45 M € requested for his release.

A trifling against the misappropriated sum: it is ten times that has been removed from the French tax. The investigation began with a report from Bercy's anti-money laundering unit, Tracfin, intrigued by the activities of two companies involved in the market for CO2 emission allowances: Groupe Energie and INCD. The good thing was to buy tax-free rights in a European country, sell them in France at a price including VAT, then invest the funds in a new operation without ever returning the VAT to the State.

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