Sentenced for breach of trust and forgery and use of forgery, the former Minister of SMEs received a one-year suspended prison sentence. The latter had pleaded clumsiness but had denied having acted maliciously.
The former Minister Delegate for SMEs Alain Griset was sentenced on June 28 in Lille to a one-year suspended prison sentence and three years of ineligibility for having placed funds from a union he chaired in a personal PEA.
The court, which also sentenced him to a fine of 5,000 euros, “took into account the absence of a history and the return of the funds”.
Alain Griset was found guilty of “breach of trust” and forgery and use of forgery. It is “indifferent that there is no enrichment, although the investigations were not able to precisely assess the added value” realized, underlined the court, the placement having deprived the owner of the funds , the National Confederation of Trades and Services (Cnams) of the North, of their enjoyment.
At the hearing at the end of May, the former minister (2020-2021), 69, assured that he had committed “a clumsiness”, but neither “cheating” nor “theft”.
A resignation after another conviction
Taxi driver for more than 30 years, appointed minister in July 2020, Alain Griset had resigned from the government following a conviction in December for incomplete declaration of his financial situation to the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life.
The Paris Criminal Court imposed a six-month suspended prison sentence and a three-year suspended sentence of ineligibility. He appealed.
Among the undeclared items were 130,000 euros belonging to the Cnams du Nord, which he chaired, placed for eleven months on his PEA. Alain Griset explained to the audience that he found it “easier” to use his PEA to make this money grow.
He assured that he acted in the interest of this organization, where the procedures could lack “formalism”.
The court underlined in its decision that the members of the board of directors “agree to say that they had confidence in Alain Griset” but also on “the vagueness, even the secrecy” surrounding this placement.
In addition to the initial 130,000 euros, Alain Griset had donated to Cnams after his appointment to the government around 19,000 euros, supposed to correspond to the capital gain realized.
But according to Tracfin, the anti-money laundering unit of Bercy, the added value would exceed 41,000 euros. “The defendant’s appointment to a high office may have something to do with the decision to return the funds,” the court said on June 27. He referred to a hearing on January 4 the question of damages due to Cnams, the exact amount of the damage remaining unknown at this stage.