A Paris judge on December 17th approved a 10 Million Euro (11.27 million) settlement, offered by prosecutors to LVMH owned by Bernard Arnault, the world’s third-richest person according to Forbes magazine that shuts down a criminal probe in the luxury group’s role in a “spying” case which involves the ex-top boss of France’s security services.
“This ruling infuriated François Ruffin, a journalist, filmmaker and leftwing politician who made headlines in 2016 with “Merci Patron!” (Thanks Boss!), a film that skewered Arnault as a heartless tycoon impoverishing the French working class.”
Ruffin filed a lawsuit in 2019 claiming that LVMH contracted the former head of France’s DGSI domestic intelligence agency, Bernard Squarcini, to spy on him for almost three years while filming the movie, that won a Cesar (the French equivalent of the Oscars) as best documentary in 2017. Ruffin had requested the court to refuse the settlement, saying 10 million euros was just 0.02 percent of the nearly 45 billion euros in revenue last year for LVMH.
“Can justice be bought so cheaply? The answer is yes,” Ruffin told journalists after the hearing Friday. It’s a blank check for all future spying operations by multinationals. All LVMH had to do was pay to get out of the proceedings.”