Guy Wildenstein fraud trial: an inside glimpse of 'tax evasion' on a global scale


The delayed trial of the renowned art dealer Guy Wildenstein on tax fraud and money laundering charges has finally begun in Paris. Wildenstein and two other members of the Franco-American dynasty are accused of hiding from the tax authorities vast assets they inherited from the estate of Daniel Wildenstein senior, who died in 2001. The French authorities are claiming a total of 566 million euros in back taxes. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan has been in court to hear some of the extraordinary details in a trial that is expected to last for a month.

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The courtroom may be almost entirely devoid of the media but it is a trial that reveals a great deal about the era we live in. Since September 26th, six people and two financial institutions have been on trial at the 32nd criminal court in Paris in what is known as the Wildenstein affair, probably one of the biggest cases of alleged tax fraud of the decade. The trial, which is expected to last until October 20th, involves the well-known Franco-American art dealing and art collecting dynasty, the Wildensteins.