Feds Charge 6 in Executive Life Case

December 18, 2003

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles unsealed the long-awaited Grand Jury indictments on Wednesday against six persons, alleged to have committed fraudulent acts in connection with the 1991 takeover of Executive Life by Altus Finance, and the subsequent cover-up of the investment group’s links to French bank Credit Lyonnais (CL).

Two former CL Chairmen, Jean Peyrelevade and Jean Yves Haberer, were among those named. Haberer headed the bank at the time of the Executive Life takeover, and Peyrelevade succeeded him. Both men have denied any wrongdoing.

Also named were former Credit Lyonnais executives François Gille, a deputy managing director, Dominique Bazy, an executive committee member and Jean-François Henin, formerly managing director of Altus. Consultant Eric Berloty, who worked with Altus, was also named.

Conspicuously absent from the indictments were French billionaire businessman François Pinault and his holding company Artemis S.A., who had reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office on Monday. (See IJ Web site Dec.15) The agreement provides for a $185 million payment into a trust fund for the benefit of Executive’s policyholders, pending the outcome of civil suits, which are still pending against all parties. Pinault has also reportedly agreed to cooperate in those lawsuits.

CL and the other corporate entities named in the indictments have also agreed to settle the criminal charges.

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