Nina Ricci Fashion heiress convicted of tax fraud

The 73 year old was found guilty after it was discovered that she had been hiding millions in an offshore HSBC account.

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play Arlette Ricci (BBC)
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Arlette Ricci, the heir to the Nina Ricci perfume and fashion fortune has been convicted of tax fraud by a Paris court.

The 73 year old was found guilty after it was discovered that she had been hiding millions in an offshore HSBC account. She was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay a €1 million (about N210,000,000) fine.

The courts also confiscated 2 properties worth 4 million euros (over N842,000,000).

BBC reports that Ricci, who can appeal, was given a 2-year suspended sentence on top of her 1-year custodial sentence.

Ricci's 51-year daughter, Margot Vignat, was also convicted and given an 8-month suspended sentence.

Ricci was accused of hiding millions of euros from the French authorities to evade tax using an offshore HSBC account and was ordered by the court to pay millions in back taxes for the period of 2007-2009, with the exact amount to be set at a later date.

Meanwhile, HSBC's Swiss private banking arm is being investigated after a leak revealed large scale tax fraud and  Ricci was the first of around 50 French nationals to face trial over tax evasion in the HSBC case.

A list of thousands of HSBC's clients was passed to the French government in 2009 by whistle blower, Herve Falciani, a former employee of the bank's private operation in Switzerland.

This February, HSBC Group Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver admitted "unacceptable" practices had taken place at its Swiss arm.

 

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