Nicolas Sarkozy and Liliane Bettencourt
We have previously reported as to how the proceeds of crime have funded many political leaders’ election campaigns but this particular case is even more intriguing. It is hard to point a finger at Liliane Bettencourt unless you have 100% forensic evidence but one can say for sure that her subsidiaries certainly have a case to answer. So let's see what everyone is saying about here and what is the scandal?
The hornets nest certainly revealed some rather grey areas with this article which said:
The accounts of the company that manages 436 million Euros worth of marketable securities for Liliane Bettencourt show that the company in question is a huge speculating machine. Until her recent resignation, Minister Eric Woerth’s wife was in charge of investing money, notably in those infamous ‘hedge funds’.
We have obtained a copy of Clymène’s accounts, a close reading of which gives rise to a number of questions. It seems clear that this holding company, of which Patrice de Maistre is CEO and Liliane Bettencourt President, has one sole function – speculating in financial markets, and making money out of money. Clymène, registered in Neuilly, near the home of the millionaire, has a portfolio of investment securities estimated at 436 million Euros.
Another snippet revealed how such donations really do try to change policy......as they everything comes at a price:
This week the nation watched in amazement as a family feud for control of a multi-billion-dollar fortune collided with tax fraud allegations that indirectly ensnared the wife of one of France's leading cabinet members and which, in turn, sparked charges that the entire affair is a politically motivated scheme to thwart the conservative government's controversial pension reform.
Another comment read as follows:
Mrs. Bettencourt had allegedly contributed in the Nicolas Sarkozy's election campaign and also, had two undisclosed Swiss bank accounts.
Mr. Woerth has refuted all these blames, but his name was mentioned in the recorded conversation. The French Government is stunned following the allegations about the money used in the election campaign. Eric Woerth was Budget Minister of Nicolas Sarkozy at the time of election. Currently, he is holding two posts, namely, the Treasures and the Labor Minister.
In the last various elections, he is known to persuade rich people of the country in order to raise fund for the elections.
What became even more interesting was when experts started to look more deeply into the affairs of Liliane Bettencourts and came up with the following statement:
What is the money invested in? Neither the auditors’ report on British company PricewaterhouseCoopers nor the progress report signed by Liliane Bettencourt herself specify this, although they lift a corner of the veil.
The Accounting Principles and Methods Section states that investments are made in private equity funds and hedge funds that offer a high yield but also a high risk. Exactly how high? That we don’t know. We might note that the magnitude of the losses posted by Clymène in 2008 suggests that the company had significant ‘rotten’ speculative assets.
All hypotheses are possible and we might even ask whether, for example, the company joined in the speculation in 2009 against European government debt securities, including those of Greece. In total, investments made in 2009 brought in a net profit of 20 million euros against a loss of 66 million Euros in 2008. Florence Woerth’s job at Clymène (she was hired in November 2007 by Patrice de Maistre at the request of Eric Woerth, current Minister of Labour) was competitively placing these investments in order to glean the greatest profit for Liliane Bettencourt’s fortune.
Another notable feature to emerge from the accounts is the very high nature of wages paid. In 2008, the gross earnings of the five employees of the company amounted to 1.5 million euros, an average of 300,000 per person per year or 25,000 Euros per month. In 2009, the total payroll declined to 462,346 Euros, a fall probably due to a downsizing of the number of those on the payroll, a number which this year has not been clarified.
This same situation can be repeated all over the world and certainly so in the good old US of A.
I am sure we all know Frank Giustra by now who made his fortune from the proceeds of crime when he ripped of millions if not billions of dollars from the investors in fake mining companies. This blood money was then given to many political figures to help them in the run up to the Presidential election.
I will now give you some background into Bettencourt's empire:
This extremely rich lady controls a much larger company called Tethys. This company in 2009 held 1.1 billion Euros in equity, 118.5 million Euros of investment securities, no debt and 2.3 million euros in annual gross wages paid to three employees. It is at this point one can see where much money gets siphoned off for the directors salaries.....how very nice don't you think?
Just look for one moment as to how lucky Tethys became when they generated more than 700 million Euros of profit: 86m. in 2004, 112m. in 2006, 145m. in 2007, 192m. in 2008 and 180m. Euros in 2009. Naturally we should point out how unlucky the investors were in this underworld of fraudulent deceit.
It is time to now look at the implications of the President Sarkozy, Minister Eric Woerth and Battencourt Scandal and see what actually was going on and how this may cause Sakozy to fall from grace:
It is alleged that Woerth and other right-wing politicians, including Sarkozy himself, accepted envelopes of cash from Bettencourt, who has been accused of massive tax evasion.
When Woerth was Budget Minister, he was also the state’s head tax collector. Which meant he was enforcing taxation policy even as he was hosting lush dinners for donors to Sarkozy's party (UMP).
It would also appear that France has a similar policy to that of the UK in that if you do crime you will be rewarded with the highest honour or receive a Knighthood......Woerth was decorated de Maistre with the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civil order. At around this time Bettencourt received a 30 million euro tax rebate while Woerth was budget minister.....rather strange don't you think?.
Sarkozy also sacked two junior cabinet members, Alain Joyandet and Christian Blanc, for recklessly spending state money—the former on a private jet trip to Haiti at a cost of $150,000, and the latter on $15,000 worth of Havana cigars. Sarkozy also ordered himself a $200 million presidential plane and has seen his own salary increase by half.......oh well dear citizens of France do not be alarmed....you will be taxed heavily to pay for this massive fraud and corruption!
It was interesting when Sarkozy used his usual tactics (don't they all?) when he said to the press:
“I would so like it if the country could be passionate about the big problems such as health, pensions, or how we can create growth, instead of getting involved with the first slanderous horror which has only one goal: to bring people down without any element of truth,”
Well Gordon and I would say the same thing why isn't the Serious Fraud Office or the politicians, that are clean, (not many you may say) look at this major fraud issue........this is really a big problem......a very big problem!
It is so big it has the ability to not only rip of billions of investors money (the backbone to financial security in this country) but also to evade millions if not billions in tax.......so Mr President would you say it is more important than your other comments?
I guess what we are looking at here is typical of what goes on in the US, UK and many other countries. The most powerful people, the ones at the heart of scandal and massive fraud remain in their posts while junior cabinet members or people like Ms Tara Davison are thrown to the wolves.
But I guess its a case of all that Gordon and I can do is to educate the public as to what is really going on and leave it at that.......maybe people are too engrossed in their private lives to even think about the scale of this problem.......it's a case of "Oh well..if you don't care then just keep paying higher taxes....you cannot blame anyone else if you just continue to sit on your hands......and as for the Serious Fraud Office......what can one say?......I think it should be renamed into what I would call "The not so serious fraud office.
Bless you all and don't forget keep paying those taxes
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