The Apollonia real estate scam will finally be assessed in Marseille

Image d’archives de l’un des plaignants, Patrick Ladoue, dans cette affaire d’escroquerie immobilière.

They dreamed of building a real estate portfolio at a lower price, but eventually lost almost a billion euros: Apollonia and 13 other defendants will be tried in Marseille for widespread fraud to the detriment of about 700 investors. Fourteen years after the first complaints, Marseille’s investigating judge Valéry Muller issued a referral to the Criminal Court (ORTC) in this large case in mid-April. The trial is expected in the spring of 2023.

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The main defendants include the management company Apollonia, based in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), its founders: Mr and Mrs Moussa-Jean Badache, a 67-year-old former businessman, and his wife Viviane (65). years, beautician, as well as their son Benjamin Heysen-Badache, 44, who once headed the company. Me René Spadola’s lawyer, sales representatives – Rémy Suchan, François Mélis, Jean-Luc Puig and Amélie d’Almeida – three Apollonia administrative staff in charge of bank relations are also referred to the court: Lynda Quintart, Fabienne Florentino and Holda. Dahir and also two notaries – Jean-Pierre Brines and Philippe Jourdeneaud.

Impossible self-financing

At the beginning of the 21st century, Apollonia experienced a spectacular boom that brought it to the front pages of economic newspapers. His secret? Offer wealthy clients, especially the medical community, real estate investments in order to build assets for their retirement. Apollonia offered its interested parties through telephone campaigning to obtain a number of real estate programs falling under the system of professional furnished furniture rentals (LMP), which is fiscally advantageous. The mechanism seemed all the more attractive “The combined effects of these tax advantages and rental income were intended”according to project promoters, guaranteeing customers “Self-financing of acquisitions, which allows them to build a significant legacy on the threshold of retirement almost without a wallet”summarizes the investigating judge.

However, the ticket to achieving this “grail” was high, the investor had to justify more than 23,000 euros per year in his rental income. An imperative that led to an increase in investor acquisitions of between 800,000 and 4 million euros. Hundreds of them eventually accepted the deal. Today, 690 have joined as civic parties.

Because, the promised self-financing “it was just a mirage”underlines the judge in his order. “tax deductions” he promised “had only a limited scope” a “the lease at the market price alone did not allow sufficient cash to be generated to complete the self-financing “ alleged in connection with overvalued assets. In addition, investment multiplication occurred without taking into account the actual debt capacity of investors.

At the moment questioned, the twenty-six partner banks of the operation are civilian parties. They, too, would be deceived by fake loan applications signed by clients and filled in by Apollonia, which did not alert them that further loans were in progress, so “files pass”. The participation of notaries who would draw up documents with full knowledge of the facts was also condemned.

15% commission

Assured by the intervention of these notaries, who acquired 3,316 plots of land for 618 buyers and an investment of 650 million euros, as well as the intervention of a lawyer and large bank brands, investors believed in Apollonia, which promised to deliver the product. “on key”. Finally, between 2002 and 2010, the Aix-based company sold 5,305 properties for almost 950 million euros.

The 15% commission (from the sale price) received by the Badaches enabled them to travel (using private jets, Ferrari, etc.) and accumulate an impressive heritage: around forty LMP flats, a house in Bouches-du-Rhône worth 1.5 million or a cottage worth six million euros in Switzerland. Part of this property was confiscated.

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