Toulouse: accused of fraud, restaurateurs have already reimbursed more than € 400,000
Surprised by a lowering of taxes in December 2017, three Toulouse restaurateurs have just been tried on appeal. They have already reimbursed more than € 400,000 to Urssaf. Enough to avoid an increase in their sentences? Decision January 24.
Lawyer of the Urssaf, Me Gaelle Lefrançois presented himself “in support of public action” this Tuesday before the Toulouse Court of Appeal. The correctional appeals chamber re-tried the managers of the All for you group, sentenced in April by the Toulouse criminal court. Catering professionals who manage La Compagnie Française, Ma Biche sur le Toit, Café Chouchou, Les Raquettes … Restaurants whose checkouts, equipped with permissive software, concealed 50% of cash payments. This system was discovered by a tax cut in December 2017.
According to the undisputed valuation, 2.5 million embezzled in taxes (VAT, corporate taxes, on income) or social benefits. Urssaf presented an invoice for € 461,688. “This debt is now purged”, warns the lawyer of the organization. “They paid three what, normally, the judgment rendered jointly with the other defendants”, insists Me Laurent De Caunes, lawyer for restaurateurs.
To settle this debt, and the slates of taxes, Philippe Lacassagne, Arnaud Cherubin and François-Louis Lapeyre sold personal property, took out loans, reduced their lifestyle. “Today 70% of the liabilities are cleared”, explains an accountant called to the bar as a witness. There is still a big fracture linked to the French Company, placed under safeguard in November 2020 because of the new confinement.
The three friends do not hide to have been “intoxicated” by this easy money which was used “especially for the development of our activities”, they confide and, “at the margin”, for holidays and weekends. Since their passage in police custody, “the awareness of our actions and the consequences”, the three bosses focus on their business. “The covid slowed down activity but the summer went well.” “They are fighting to continue. They created these establishments, developed them. They want it to work,” warns their other lawyer, Me Jocelyn Momasso Momasso.
But the advanced payment of adjustments does not prevent Advocate General François Jardin from requesting, in addition to the confirmation of the sentences (3 years in prison including 10 months closed and € 50,000 fine) a ban on managing. An additional penalty fought with vigor by the defense. In the name of law, economic logic and the 280 jobs of the group.
Decision expected on January 24.
The creator of the software demands his release
Inventor of the Vega software, which erased cash, Alain Erb frequented L’Envol, another restaurant in the group. First a friend with Arnaud Cherubin, he became a partner. “It made sense to use its cash register software,” say the managers. The court, on the other hand, failed to make it clear who had shown the permanent function. Among the 20 companies equipped by Alain Erb’s companies and tested by customs, none used the famous erase key. “And I did not take a single euro in this story. I even paid for my dinners”, says the business manager. His defender, Me Philippe Sarda, demanded with conviction his release.