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france 24 Europe

Strauss-Kahn to seek damages over fraud allegations

© Philippe Huguen, AFP | Lawyer for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Jean Veil, claims his client was duped by former LSK founder Thierry Leyne.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-10-17

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to pursue damages following allegations of “fraud” and “misuse of company assets” at the now-defunct investment firm Leyne Strauss-Kahn Partners (LSK), his lawyer Jean Veil told reporters on Saturday.

The claim is to be filed next week with the public prosecutor of Paris, Veil said.

On Friday the Paris prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation when two lawsuits were filed against LSK company managers, including Strauss-Kahn.

The inquiry is to determine whether the complaints are admissable, the alleged offenses having been committed abroad – namely in Luxembourg, Monaco and Cyprus.

One of the complainants, Jean-François Ott, is former CEO of the Luxembourg real estate company Orco Property Group and a shareholder at LSK investment fund. The other is a former Macedonian banker who had invested in LSK bonds.

Ott’s lawyer Mathieu Croizet said he considered DSK’s response to be “premature” given the investigation into claims against him was still only preliminary.

Veil noted that Ott and his real estate company, Orco Property Group, had been sanctioned in 2012 by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal of Paris in 2014.

Strauss-Kahn became a board member of LSK in October 2013 and temporarily became the firm’s president before stepping down from the post one year later.

LSK declared bankruptcy in November 2014, a few weeks after founder Thierry Leyne committed suicide in Tel Aviv.

DSK had questioned his former partner, explaining that he had engaged in "a series of excessive borrowing."

On Friday, after France Inter and Le Parisien Magazine revealed that a formal investigation had begun, DSK’s lawyer Veil repeated that his client had himself been duped by Leyne.

In April, a source close to the case had revealed that LSK had accrued a liability to the tune of almost €100 million.

Strauss-Kahn has faced a series of legal charges since 2011, but has thus far avoided conviction. A French court in June acquitted him of procuring prostitutes for sex parties in France, Belgium and the United States.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

Date created : 2015-10-17

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