Fnac Darty: judicial investigation opened after suspicions of illegal cash payments

According to Mediapart, orders for equipment, in several stores, were paid for by “cash payments above the authorized ceilings” for a total amount estimated at 1.5 million euros between 2014 and 2021.

A judicial investigation was opened on May 19 for

Judicial information was opened in May, in particular for “laundering of offenses committed in an organized gang”in Paris for suspicion of illegal cash transactions within the group, we learned on Tuesday from a judicial source, confirming information from Mediapart.

According to Mediapart, orders for equipment, in several of the brand’s stores, were paid for by “cash payments above the authorized ceilings”sometimes reaching “47,000 euros” for a total amount estimated at 1.5 million euros between 2014 and 2021. Since 2015, the monetary and financial code limits to 1000 euros the payment of a good or a service in cash by an individual and a resident professional in France. This ceiling is raised to 15,000 euros for individuals who do not have their tax domicile in France and only for a purchase in the private context.

“Possible irregularities”

A judicial inquiry was opened on May 19 for “laundering of offenses committed in an organized gang” and “conspiracy”, confirmed to AFP a judicial source. In a press release sent to AFP, the Fnac Darty group announces that it has “seized the public prosecutor in Paris concerning possible irregularities observed in one of its subsidiaries, the company Establishment Darty & Son”. “To date, it seems that the facts are limited to certain operations that took place in a limited number of Darty stores.says the group.

Five Parisian stores were raided in early June and four store managers and a sales manager were fired, according to the online media. About fifteen stores in Paris and in the Paris region have set up “a well-organized system to allow several individuals or companies to circumvent the law”underlines Mediapart.

Bags filled with cash

In particular, employees have described to the information site men entering “in a store of the sign, provided with plastic bags, a bag or a sports bag” filled with cash. The tickets were then deposited in a cash register in the store or in the manager’s safe, according to them. Several processes were used to then hide the importance of the sums paid in cash, details Mediapart.

The Fnac Darty group ended 2020 with a turnover of 7.49 billion euros, exceeding the 7.35 billion recorded in 2019. The listed group saw its online sales increase during the confinements .

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