Head of French telecoms group Orange convicted of misuse of public funds

FILE PHOTO: Orange chief executive Stephane Richard speaks to reporters inside the courthouse in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Orange chief executive Stephane Richard reacts after being acquitted of any wrongdoing in a fraud trial, clearing the way for him to remain at the helm of the country's biggest telecom operator in Paris, France, July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

November 24, 2021

PARIS (Reuters) – Stephane Richard, the head of France’s biggest telecoms company Orange, was convicted Wednesday of complicity of misuse of public funds by a Paris appeals court.

The case dated back to a 400 million-euro ($449.8 million)French state payout to the late business tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008.

At the time, Richard was chief of staff to then finance minister Christine Lagarde, who now presides over the European Central Bank (ECB). Lagarde was convicted of negligence over the affair in December, 2016.

($1 = 0.8894 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)