France: Criminal Liability for Fraudulent Bankruptcy

Pages88-90
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb025762
Publication Date01 March 1996
AuthorDavid Peacock
SubjectAccounting & finance
Journal of Financial Crime Vol. 4 No. 1 International
France: Criminal Liability for Fraudulent
Bankruptcy
David Peacock
Banqueroute,
or fraudulent bankruptcy, is the most
serious criminal offence that may arise out of
insolvency proceedings, known as redressement judi-
ciaire:
this single procedure unifies earlier proce-
dures (Statute 85-98 of 25th January, 1985). It is
punishable as a 'misdemeanour' (or délit
correction-
nel) and may be committed by debtor or company
directors alike. Previously French law had distin-
guished between negligent bankruptcy
(banqueroute
simple) and fradulent bankruptcy (banqueroute
fraud-
uleuse);
these were drawn together by historical
evolution and are merged into a limited number of
instances by the statute of 25th January, 1985. A
second, more diverse category of offences, may be
committed by 'procedural bodies', the debtor's
relatives, creditors, even third parties.
The regional criminal court for the trial of mis-
demeanours
(tribunal
correctionnel),
may only find an
infringement of the law where either the commer-
cial court of the
tribunal de grand instance
(Court of
Page 88

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