Two tycoons and a secret pact to carve up millions in compensation

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A French court will decide in August whether the new IMF chief Christine Lagarde will be investigated for her role, when French finance minister, in the controversial 2008 award of more than 400 million euros of public money to French tycoon Bernard Tapie. The case took a new twist in July after Mediapart led revelations over a secret pact between flamboyant, twice-fold rags-to-riches Tapie and an equally colourful entrepreneur called André Guelfi, a.k.a.Dédé la Sardine. The two men, who first met in prison, agreed to share their winnings in Tapie's compensation claim against the Crédit Lyonnais bank, and Guelfi's astronomic and ongoing compensation demand of more than 1 billion euros from oil giant Total, with funds destined to an offshore tax haven. Laurent Mauduit reports.

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A French court will decide early next month whether the new IMF chief Christine Lagarde will be investigated for her role, when French finance minister, in the controversial 2008 award of more than 400 million euros of public money to French tycoon Bernard Tapie. The case took a new twist this week after Mediapart led revelations over a secret pact between flamboyant, twice-fold rags-to-riches Tapie and an equally colourful entrepreneur called André Guelfi, aka Dédé la Sardine. The two men, who first met in prison, agreed to share their winnings in Tapie's compensation claim against the Crédit Lyonnais bank, and Guelfi's astronomic and ongoing compensation demand of more than 1 billion euros from oil giant Total, with funds destined to an offshore tax haven. Laurent Mauduit reports.