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Billionaire’s Security Breach: Bernard Tapie Beaten and Robbed

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Burglars attacked Bernard Tapie and his wife after breaking into their home at night during a robbery. The former French minister and scandal-ridden tycoon was sound asleep, when four people slipped past his security guards and broke into the home where he lived with his wife in Combs-la-Ville, near Paris, at around 12.30 am on Sunday.

The criminals then beat the elderly couple and tied them up with electrical cords in an attempt to make them divulge the location of their “treasure”.

“But of course there was no treasure, and the fact that they didn’t find one made the violence only worse,” said Guy Geoffroy, the mayor of Combs-La-Ville.

The police revealed that the notorious French billionaire suffered blows to the head with a club during the attack. However, he declined to be taken into medical care.

“My grandfather refused to be taken away. He is shattered, very tired. He was sitting on a chair when he was hit with a club,” said Rodolphe Tapie.

The burglars broke into Tapie’s home, a huge estate known as the Moulin de Breuil, through a first-floor window.  His residential security guards failed to notice that anything was amiss. In the end, the criminals made off with two watches including a Rolex, earrings, bracelets and a ring.

Tapie’s wife somehow managed to free herself after the burglars left and ran to their neighbors. She reached their home and called the police. Later, she was taken to the hospital because of the facial injuries she received after being hit several times to the head.

Quality security depends on who you hire to protect you.The biggest failure in home security is hiring the wrong people or having the wrong equipment installed.

Justen Charles, Director of Asset Protection & Family Security

Who is Bernard Tapie?

Bernard Tapie is a former Socialist minister who rose from humble beginnings to build a sporting and media empire. He later faced a string of very public legal problems. Tapie made a fortune in the early part of his career by taking over failing companies, with allegedly dubious methods, and often flaunted his wealth.

Tapie was under suspicion of match-fixing in France’s top football league, and was found guilty in a string of cases for:

  • corruption,
  • tax fraud, and,
  • misuse of corporate assets.

He went to prison for five months and was stripped of the right to stand in any election in France.

After his release from prison in 1997, Tapie go into showbiz. He tried his hand at acting and hosting radio and TV shows. In 2012 he also became a media tycoon, taking over the French daily La Provence and other newspapers.

One fraud case chased Tapie for decades, involving a hugely controversial settlement worth approx. USD 470 million, awarded to him by a government arbitration panel. In fact, the panel originally judged him to be the victim of fraud when he sold his stake in the Adidas sports apparel company in 1993 to state-run French bank Credit Lyonnais – which was found to have undervalued the sportswear brand.

Tapie’s fraud trial was postponed for reasons of ill health. He was suffering a double stomach cancer and cancer of the oesophagus. The trial is due to resume in May.

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