Convicted fraudster Arnaud Mimran indicted in France for two murders

Convicted fraudster Arnaud Mimran indicted in France for two murders

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Convicted Franco-Israeli fraudster Arnaud Mimran, who is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence in France, was indicted last week in two separate murder cases, according to French-language media.

Mimran, convicted in 2016 for carbon VAT fraud, a crime known as the “scam of the century” in France, was indicted Thursday on two new, more serious charges.

French prosecutors accused Mimran of murdering his accomplice, Franco-Israeli fraudster Samy Souied, in 2010, as well as his stepfather, billionaire Claude Dray, a year later, according to information published in Mediapart and the France Media Agency.

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Souied was shot dead six times on September 14, 2010, in central Paris by an assassin on a scooter. Claude Dray was shot three times on October 24, 2011, in his mansion in the wealthy Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

The two murders had not been solved for a long time, but in recent weeks investigators have made inroads into the case, Mediapart reported.

Prior to his 2016 conviction for fraud, Mimran often touted his friendship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he claimed to have materially supported to the tune of € 1 million over the years. Specifically, Mimran reportedly told French investigators that he had contributed $ 200,000 to the Netanyahu Prime Minister’s campaign in 2009, an amount that exceeded the campaign contribution limit of NIS 11,480 (€ 2,922) set by NIS. Israeli law.

When media reports of Mimran’s alleged contributions first appeared in June 2016, Netanyahu denied the information, claiming that Mimran contributed barely $ 40,000 to a fund for Netanyahu’s public activities in 2001, then. that he was a simple citizen.

In 2016, the attorney general’s office announced it would investigate Mimran’s alleged contributions to Netanyahu, but has not reported any progress since. Netanyahu is currently on trial in three separate alleged corruption cases.

Arnaud Mimran on vacation with Benjamin Netanyahu in Monaco in 2003 (courtesy Mediapart / File)

Mimran was one of around fifty French citizens, working in teams of around three, who committed carbon VAT fraud in 2008-2009. Fraudsters have taken advantage of different tax rules in different EU countries to buy and sell carbon credits, or permission to emit carbon dioxide, on exchanges in Europe. Fraudsters would buy the credits in a country without value added tax, and quickly sell them in France or other countries that charged VAT. Typically, traders have 90 days to remit the VAT they collect to the French government. Fraudsters took advantage of the window of time to divert the money overseas and transfer it through a series of shell companies until it actually disappeared.

The French government estimates that it is losing 1.6 billion euros in unpaid VAT and the total loss for all European countries is estimated at between 5 and 10 billion euros.

According to Marius Christian-Frunza, lecturer at the Sorbonne and author of the book “Fraud and Carbon Markets”, several organized criminal groups from all over Europe orchestrated and engaged in fraud, each trying to pass a piece of the action before European regulators figured out what was going on and shut it down in 2009. So the Georgian-Russian Mafia operating in Spain was likely involved, as were the Russian Mafia in St. Petersburg and German, Polish organized crime groups , Bulgarians and others, according to Frunza.

In France, where around 1.6 billion euros were stolen, many of the suspects were French Jews who had obtained or later obtained Israeli citizenship. The team led by Mimran, Marco Mouly and Souied stole 283 million euros of VAT. Much of the crime, according to a Haaretz investigative report, was committed from the perpetrators’ computers in Tel Aviv offices.

Mimran, 49, grew up in an upscale part of Paris and spent his early days as a stock trader. In 2000, he was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for suspected insider trading. He settled the case and agreed to pay a restitution of $ 425,000.

Mimran married billionaire Dray’s daughter and enjoyed an exaggerated lifestyle, while cultivating famous friends. In 2003, he was pictured vacationing in Monaco with Netanyahu, who was not the prime minister at the time.

Arnaud Mimran (l), the murder victim Samy Souied and Marco Mouly. (courtesy Mediapart)

In 2006, Mimran met Mouly and Souied, both from the lower-end neighborhood of Belleville, where many Tunisian Jews grew up in poverty. Mouly had dropped out of school at the age of 12 and is said to be illiterate. He and Souied made their living from various scams. In 2008-2009, they requested an investment of 8 million euros from Mimran in their carbon VAT program.

According to Mediapart, Mimran ultimately fell out with Souied over the money. Mimran reportedly invested the most money in the scam, but his partners took more of the loot. Mimran allegedly asked Souied to entrust him with part of his earnings so that he could launder them via the stock exchange. Souied reportedly agreed, but grew impatient as Mimran grew impatient to return his funds.

The two men agreed to meet on September 14, 2010 in Paris. Mimran brought a diamond-encrusted human skull-shaped ring that he had previously given to Souied’s wife, but taken back to enlarge. At the exact moment he handed the ring to his Souied, according to reports, a professional assassin arrived on a scooter and shot Souied six times.

The diamond-encrusted skull ring that Mimran allegedly gave to Souied at the time of his murder (courtesy of Mediapart)

Meanwhile, Mimran has reportedly left his wife, Dray, for a Paraguayan supermodel. Dray’s father Claude was reportedly disgusted with Mimran and testified against him in court on March 8, 2011. He pointed to Mimran’s compulsive spending habits, which included a Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Bentley, jewelry and his propensity to travel. by private plane.

“In France, he has nothing in his name, he revealed, but he has accounts abroad, especially in China,” he said.

When asked if he knew Marco Mouly, Dray reportedly replied: “From what I know, he and Arnaud are linked to the murder of Samy Souied.”

On the morning of October 25, 2011, Dray, 76, was found dead inside his high security home. He had been shot three times from behind.

Mimran has denied any involvement in Souied and Dray’s deaths.

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