Arlette Ricci, heiress to the Nina Ricci perfume and fashion fortune, has been found guilty of tax fraud in a case prompted by a leaked list of people who used the services of HSBC in Switzerland.
A Paris court sentenced Ricci, the 73-year-old granddaughter of co-founder Nina Ricci, to three years in jail with two suspended, and also ordered her to pay a €1m (£720,000) fine.
She was tried on charges that she hid more than $22m (£15m) from the French tax authorities using accounts and offshore entities based in Panama.
HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary is being pursued by French magistrates who suspect it of large-scale tax fraud,on the basis of a list of around 3,000 names leaked by former HSBC employee Herve Falciani.
HSBC Holdings was ordered to post a bail bond of €1bn last week to cover possible fines. The bank has described the French authorities’ decision to investigate as legally groundless.