Europe

Dominique Strauss-Kahn 'under investigation for fraud'

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrives at his hotel in Lille, northern France, on February 17, 2015. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Strauss-Kahn stepped down as chairman of the LSK investment group in October 2014

French prosecutors have opened a preliminary fraud inquiry targeting former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, French media say.

The case centres on an investment firm, LSK, which Mr Strauss-Kahn chaired until it went bankrupt a year ago.

The investigation was launched in July after a shareholder filed a complaint, the media reports say.

Mr Strauss-Kahn resigned as IMF chief in 2011 after being accused of attempted rape in the US.

Those charges were later dropped, but another scandal followed in France. It ended in June when he was acquitted of procuring prostitutes for sex parties.

'No operational responsibilities'

Prosecutors opened the preliminary inquiry on 28 July into allegations of fraud and abuse of corporate assets against Mr Strauss-Kahn, France Inter, a state-run radio station, and Le Parisien magazine reported on Friday.

Leyne Strauss-Kahn Partners (LSK) owes 100 million euros (£73m) to more than 150 creditors, public radio station France Inter said.

The complaint that triggered the reported inquiry was filed by former investor Jean-Francois Ott, a French businessman who invested 500,000 euros into the firm.

LSK was declared bankrupt in November 2014, weeks after the suicide of its founder, Israeli-French businessman Thierry Leyne.

Mr Strauss-Kahn was chairman of LSK from late 2013 until October last year.

His lawyer said in a letter to prosecutors that the former chairman "never had operational responsibilities" within LSK and that his signature had been forged on the minutes of board meetings where he had been absent, France Inter reported.

Following the preliminary inquiry, prosecutors will decide whether to hand the case over to an investigating judge.

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