International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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Ricci heiress convicted for tax evasion using HSBC

Nina Ricci fashion modelA Paris court has found the heir to the Nina Ricci fashion and perfume company fortune guilty of tax evasion and sentenced her to three years in prison with two of them suspended.

The judges also ordered Arlette Ricci, 73, to pay a fine of €1 million ($1.05 million) and ordered the seizure of a house in Paris and property in Corsica, which together are worth about €4 million ($4.2 million).

Ricci’s is the first of about 50 cases of tax evasion expected to go to trial. An investigation by ICIJ and Le Monde based on files leaked from HSBC to French tax authorities revealed the details of Ricci's account. Officials in France used the leaked data to identify about 3,000 cases of tax evasion facilitated by HSBC Private Bank Suisse, which accommodated the financial needs of tax evaders, arms traffickers and others.

Ricci’s grandmother, who was born Maria Adelaide Nieli in Turin, created a business in France along with her son in 1932. Arlette Ricci inherited her fortune from her father and hid $22 million from tax authorities. According to the Guardian, the judges noted in sentencing her granddaughter, that she displayed a “particularly determined willingness for more than 20 years” to keep the money hidden.

Ricci may appeal the sentence. 

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