PARIS (Reuters) - A Paris court on Monday found the heiress of the Nina Ricci perfume and fashion business guilty of tax fraud in a high-profile trial prompted by leaked lists of people who used the services of HSBC bank in Switzerland.
Arlette Ricci, 73-year-old granddaughter of Nina Ricci, was sentenced to three years in jail, including two suspended, and ordered to pay a fine of 1 million euros ($1.05 million) in a verdict read out by a judge at a criminal court.
She was tried on charges that she hid more than $22 million from the French tax authorities using accounts and offshore entities based in Panama.
HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary is itself being pursued by French magistrates who suspect it of large-scale tax fraud. HSBC Holdings Plc was ordered last week to post a bail bond of 1 billion euros to cover possible fines in a move it said was legally groundless.
In an affair dubbed “Swissleaks”, HSBC’s Swiss private bank unit is being pursued along with scores of wealthy individuals whose names appeared on lists of some 3,000 client names leaked to French authorities by a former HSBC employee, Herve Falciani.
($1 = 0.9483 euros)
(The story was corrected to show two years suspended not one year in the second paragraph)
Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Andrew Callus