The Daily Mail in the U.K. reported on Tuesday that a complaint filed in 2006 by the Oetker Group, owners of the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the French Riviera, has led to the indictment of the man who ran the hotel for some 50 years, Jean-Claude Irondelle, for embezzlement. The indictment alleges that he set up a ‘parallel fraudulent organization’ at the hotel. Irondelle, now 82, has denied any wrongdoing.
Irondelle, the newspaper reported, was known for accepting cash-only from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Prosecutors believe he kept ‘double books,’ skimmed profits and collected kickbacks to keep the celebrities happy. Prosecutors believe he misappropriated €740,000 (US$967,000) between 2003 and 2006 alone, without mentioning the kickbacks made available to suppliers.
The judge in the case has reported an indictment for the misuse of corporate assets. Both the hotel and Irondelle now have three months to request additional documents connected with the case.
The indictment contends Irondelle concentrated his fraud on a series of mansion-like villas where stars liked to stay during big events like the Cannes Film Festival.
Irondelle’s lawyer Jean-Louis Keita, said, ‘This is a fabricated case. It is completely unfounded and we will prove it.” He added that Irondelle was still waiting for his €473,000 (US$618,000) severance package, agreed in October 2005.
Jean-Jacques Rinck, lawyer for the Eden Roc, said, “Justice is sometimes slow but always catches up with offenders.”