former MP Anne-Christine Lang sentenced for embezzlement of public funds
MP Anne-Christine Lang, then attached to the party La République en Marche (LRM), at the…
Anne-Christine Lang will not set foot in politics again. The former deputy accepted the sentence of ineligibility of three years and the fine of 60,000 euros proposed by the national financial prosecutor’s office (PNF) to close the investigation which targeted her for embezzlement of public funds. This appearance on prior admission of guilt, French version of the American guilty plea, was approved by the Paris Criminal Court on Tuesday, May 9.
During the hearing, Mr.me Lang admitted to having used a portion of his Representative Mandate Expense Allowance (IRFM) for personal purposes. Of the “non-compliant expenses” up to 44,650 euros, as recalled by the president of the court, citing as examples medical consultations, the purchase of toys and children’s clothing, the payment of contributions to a political party or even checks in favor of persons or companies “unrelated to the mandate of deputy”.
The investigation focused on the use of the IRFM by Anne-Christine Lang during her first term (2014-2017), before the socialist joined La République en Marche for a second term (2017-2022). If the amount withheld at the start exceeded 100,000 euros, the PNF decided not to take into account the sums spent before March 3, 2015, the date on which the rules for using the IRFM were clarified by a “letter of ‘information’ from the President of the National embly. Before that, “the use of the IRFM was poorly regulated and the deputies did what they wanted”recalled the financial prosecutor Hedy Djilali.
Fifteen cases sent to justice
Despite the tightening of the rules, the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life found that some bad practices in terms of IRFM had persisted. In 2018, the institution brought to justice the case of 15 (former) parliamentarians for possible illicit uses of their envelope of money order expenses. Among them, the former senator Philippe Nachbar (Les Républicains, Meurthe-et-Moselle), sentenced in January for embezzlement of public fundsand the former socialist deputy Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, whose trial is to be held in the fall.
The situation of Anne-Christine Lang was brought to the attention of justice in a second time, in 2019, following the revelations from the Radio France investigation unit, who had been able to access the details of certain disputed expenses. Mme Lang had admitted at the time “negligence”while considering ” sincerity “. Faced with the court, she finally recognized an embezzlement of public funds. The sums in dispute were fully reimbursed to the National embly at the beginning of the year.
The May 9 hearing was her final link to her life as a politician. Beaten during the legislative elections of June 2022, Anne-Christine Lang has since resumed her post as a civil servant within the national education system. The court accepted his request not to register the conviction on his criminal record, and thus avoid any additional problems with his administration. Asked at the end of the hearing, she quickly left the court and did not wish to react to this conviction.