This is the second part of the Balkany affair, distinct from that which caused the former mayor LR of Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine) to be reincarcerated for six months, between February and August, for not having respected the constraints of his electronic bracelet.

The justice separated this file into two parts: one devoted to suspicions of tax evasion, the other to suspicions of money laundering, misrepresentation to the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP) and taking illegal interest.

In this second part, the Balkany spouses – now aged 74 and 75 – were sentenced on May 27, 2020, on appeal, to five and four years’ imprisonment, ten years of ineligibility and, each, a fine of 100,000 euros.

They were found guilty of having concealed between 2007 and 2014 some 13 million euros in tax assets, including two sumptuous villas in the Caribbean and Morocco, hidden by a string of offshore companies and nominees.

Patrick Balkany was also sentenced for illegal taking of interests, the court having considered that he had benefited from “personal benefits” in kind within the framework of a large real estate contract for the city of Levallois-Perret.

The former elected officials appealed to the Court of Cassation which, on June 30, 2021, rejected their appeal concerning their guilt, which was thus made final.

On the other hand, the high court considered that the Court of Appeal had not correctly applied the law by pronouncing the confiscation of the mill of Giverny (Eure), where the couple still lives, as well as by determining the amount of damages and interest they had to pay to the State (one million euros).

The Court of Cassation therefore ordered a new trial and, to leave more freedom to the new formation of the Court of Appeal which will retry the case, canceled all the sentences and the civil interests.

– “Last warning” –

“Madame Balkany trusts in justice”, simply declared her lawyer Me Pierre-Olivier Sur to AFP.

Patrick Balkany’s lawyer declined to make a statement.

The stakes of this hearing lie in the preservation, or not, of the Cossy mill, of which the Balkany children are bare owners, and in the amount of damages that they will have to pay.

Prison sentences can be increased or reduced, or even combined with those pronounced in the tax evasion part of the case.

In this last part, the penalties of three years in prison pronounced on appeal on March 4, 2020 are final, the Balkanys having not lodged an appeal in cassation.

Patrick Balkany had been imprisoned five months after the trial judgment and the couple had been serving these sentences under an electronic bracelet since the appeal.

But, after a hundred incidents, this measure was withdrawn from them and, on February 7, Patrick Balkany was reincarcerated in Fleury-Mérogis (Essonne). He was released on August 5, the Court of Appeal having granted his request for sentence adjustment after a “final warning”.

His wife also had her bracelet revoked, but the examination of her situation had been postponed due to her hospitalization, which lasted until the beginning of June.

In any case, the Balkany will not be done with justice.

Patrick Balkany was indicted in Nanterre for abuse of corporate assets, embezzlement of public funds and illegal taking of interest, suspected of having made office buildings available to his son-in-law, without payment of rent.

In another case where he is accused of having used municipal agents as private drivers, his indictment for embezzlement of public funds was confirmed in December.

In addition, the couple will be tried in April 2023 in Nanterre for having broadcast two sexual photomontages of their former municipal councilor in Levallois-Perret, who has become their opponent.