Dieudonné M’Mala M’Bala was sentenced to three years in prison, two of which were closed (convertible) for abuse of corporate assets and tax evasion. He also receives a fine of 200,000 euros. The court of appeal upheld a first instance judgment.
Controversial comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala was sentenced on appeal to three years’ imprisonment, two of which was closed, as well as a fine of 200,000 euros for embezzling over one million euros in unrecorded revenue of his shows, AFP learned on June 25 from a judicial source. The court of appeal confirmed on June 23 the judgment that had been pronounced by the criminal court in 2019, specifying that this sentence would be adjusted, in house arrest with an electronic bracelet, in external placement or semi-liberty.
During the trial in March, the public prosecutor’s office requested an additional year of suspended imprisonment compared to the sentence at first instance. The defense had again pleaded for acquittal.
535,083 euros in cash seized and 10 years of ban on company management
Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, 55, was found guilty of tax fraud, money laundering, abuse of corporate assets or even fraudulent organization of his insolvency. The Court of Appeal also imposed a 10-year ban on managing a company and the confiscation of 535,083 euros in cash seized from him during the investigation.
In this case, Dieudonné was accused of having embezzled for his profit between 2009 and 2014 cash receipts from his shows, not recorded in the accounts of his company. He was then playing in his Parisian theater of the Main d’or, from which he has since been expelled.
The sentence passed also sanctions tax evasion of income tax in 2011-2012 and VAT fraud, as well as money laundering: beyond the cash found at his home, he and his relatives have sent more than 565 000 euros abroad, mainly in Cameroon where he has family ties, and more than 100,000 euros in France.
On the other hand, he was acquitted for the facts of tax fraud over the period 2009-2010 and concerning the wealth tax, the prosecution having withdrawn its appeal on this plan. The court also confirmed the suspended sentence of 18 months imposed on his partner, manager at the time of the events of Productions de la plume, as well as the fine of 50,000 euros which the company itself had received.
Dieudonné was sentenced at first instance to immediately pay several thousand euros in damages to the League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) and the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF). These associations, to which the polemicist owed damages related to previous cases, had become civil parties in this case in the section relating to the fraudulent organization of insolvency.