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Wildenstein Saga Continues

January 14, 2021

Tales from the dark sideIn 2016, members of the Wildenstein family were accused of tax fraud – Guy Wildenstein faces charges that he hid his fortune in offshore tax havens and a demand for £475m in back taxes

By early 2017, Guy Wildenstein and his nephew Alec, Jr. were acquitted of tax fraud and money laundering charges.  The Art Newspaper reported that [t]he presiding judge Olivier Geron said there had been a “clear attempt” at concealment, according to the BBC. But shortcomings in the investigation and French tax fraud legislation meant it was impossible for Geron to return a guilty verdict for any of the accused.

Then, in June of 2018, there was a re-trial and all the defendants were acquitted again.  Another report in The Art Newspaper stated that in the latest criminal proceeding, the court ruled that Guy Wildenstein could not be charged because too much time had passed since the 2002 tax declaration following his father’s death. On the second inheritance in 2008, the judge found a lack of legal basis and evidence to support a prosecution.

Well, the French prosecutors have not given up, and France’s highest court has ordered a retrial.  They are looking for €250m in fines and €616m in unpaid tax.

If prosecutors lose this one, does the 3 strikes you’re out rule apply?

Source: France’s highest court orders retrial of art-dealing Wildenstein family