Investigations by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office on the role of consulting firms

The last two presidential elections are in the sights of justice. The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office opened two judicial inquiries at the end of October, one “on the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022”, the other on suspicions of “favouritism” concerning them, said indicated Thursday the financial public prosecutor Jean-François Bohnert in a press release.

During the last presidential campaign, a Senate report had sparked heated discussions on the use of public funds and the opposition had called for an investigation into possible favoritism of the Macronist majority for the benefit of the consulting firm McKinsey. After an article from Parisian titled “Mckinsey case: Emmanuel Macron targeted by an investigation for illegal campaign financing”, the PNF on Thursday published a press release to “clarify the situation of various criminal proceedings” initiated after the Senate report as well as various complaints and reports.

Preliminary investigation already underway

The public prosecutor’s office specified that “following [de] several reports and complaints from elected officials and individuals, a judicial investigation was opened on October 20, 2022, in particular counts of non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in a campaign account, relating to the conditions of involvement of consulting firms in the 2017 and 2022 election campaigns”. The Crown further added that “following [de] several complaints from elected officials and associations, a judicial investigation was opened on October 21, 2022 into the heads of favoritism and concealment of favouritism”.

In his press release, Jean-François Bohnert recalled that a preliminary investigation had already been underway since March 31 for “aggravated laundering of aggravated tax evasion”. It resulted in a search of McKinsey’s French headquarters on May 24. Then candidate, Emmanuel Macron had estimated that the non-payment of corporate tax by McKinsey was explained by the tax rules in force. “If there is evidence of manipulation, let it go to the criminal court,” he said last March.

The Elysée announces that it has “taken note of the communication from the national financial prosecutor’s office concerning the opening of two judicial inquiries following in particular complaints from elected officials and associations”. “It is up to the judiciary to conduct these investigations independently,” added the presidency.

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