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“Influence peddling”, “corruption”, “abuse of social property”, a police report overwhelms Bernard Laporte

While the XV of France is preparing to launch its VI Nations tournament (February 5-March 19) and the fans still have in mind the formidable victory against the Blacks (40-25), at the end of last November, we would have almost forgot that it is not only on the sports field that there is spectacle. Indeed, after four years of investigation, the Economic Crime Repression Brigade (BRDE) has just closed its investigation into the links between Bernard Laporte, the boss of the FFR, and Mohed Altrad, the president of the MHR and main sponsor. of the Blues jersey. The president of the Federation, then under private contract with Altrad, would be accused (among other things) of having illegally worked to serve the interests of the president of Montpellier.

According to The Team, who had access to the summary report of the investigators, seized in this case on December 20, 2017 by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), it is “overwhelming” for the respondents. Our colleagues write in particular that “the investigators consider that the facts revealed by their investigations are” likely to characterize certain crimes “” against the two men. And the list is long.

A trial scheduled for September 2022

Against Bernard Laporte, mention is made of “corruption by a person charged with a public service mission, influence peddling by a public person, breach of trust to the detriment of the FFR, illegal taking of interests, concealment misuse of corporate assets to the detriment of AIA (Altrad Investment Authority), abuse of corporate assets to the detriment of (his own company) BL Communication (current account debit). “Against Mohed Altrad, the report refers to” active corruption on a person charged with a public service mission, active influence peddling, abuse of corporate assets to the detriment of AlA. According to Bernard Laporte’s lawyer, Me Versini-Campinchi, who denounces a police investigation “exclusively against”, a trial will take place “in September 2022”.

At the heart of his BRDE investigations, many shady cases, such as the image contract (possibly overvalued and kept secret) linking Bernard Laporte to the group of Mohed Altrad, Laporte’s intervention with the President of the Commission appeal to alleviate the sanctions imposed on the MHR in June 2017 and the allocation of jersey sponsorship by the FFR to the Altrad group for a sum lower than that required from the historical partners of the XV of France (GMF, Orange, Société Générale, BMW ).

The phone fadettes that say a lot

Regarding this last point, the investigators are surprised by “the absence of competition between potential sponsors” and wonder about “the fair value of this sponsorship”. When Altrad’s competitors were asked for 9.9 million euros per season, the latter obtained a deal at 5.4 million per season. As for the Appeal Commission, and contrary to what Bernard Laporte’s lawyers claim, the BRDE concluded that a decision had been rendered on June 29 against the MHR before being modified following the seven appeals telephone calls from Bernard Laporte, on June 3, to the president of the appeal committee of the FFR Jean-Daniel Simonet.

After this series of mysterious phone calls (The Team even speaks of a “frenzy of telephone exchanges” between the stakeholders), the sanctions against Montpellier will finally be generously reduced (cancellation of the stadium suspension for the MHR and a fine which goes from 70,000 to 20,000 euros). The lawyers of the defendants received the investigation report on December 21 from the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office. They now have a few months to prepare their defense, which will certainly not be too much.


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