France. Orange CEO Stephane Richard sentenced to one year suspended prison for embezzlement of public funds

Stephane Richard, director of France’s largest telecommunications company, Orange, was sentenced to a year suspended in prison by a court of appeal in Paris for abuses related to public spending, Reuters Agency said on Wednesday.

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Richard has been recognized for helping and inciting the misuse of public funds and helping the late Bernard Tapie defraud the government for around € 403 million in 2008. Judge Sophie Clement quashed the 2019 acquittal of the lower court and imposed on Richard an additional fine of 50 thousand euro – reported the Bloomberg portal.

The judgment concerns a case initiated by the sale of shares in Adidas AG by Bernard Tapie in 1993. The trader found that the state-owned bank involved in the transaction had defrauded him, which gave rise to a dispute and, as a result, resulted in the case being submitted to arbitration in 2007. The following year, the court awarded the entrepreneur multi-million dollar compensation.

The decision announced on Wednesday was to be read in October, but the sentence was postponed due to death of Bernard Tapie, who has been struggling for years with cancer.

Orange declined to comment on the matter. Stephane Richard announced that intends to appeal against the decision, and entrusts his future at Orange to the company’s management board.

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About Eric Wilson

The variety offered by video games never ceases to amaze him. He loves OutRun's drifting as well as the contemplative walks of Dear Esther. Immersing himself in other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it by playing for the first time in Shenmue.

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