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France

'Pathological miser' fined for using fake supermarket gift vouchers

Jacobs Stock Photography

A 45-year-old Frenchman has been fined 5,000 euros for faking supermarket gift vouchers, a practise that earned him at least 400 euros a week, according to his lawyer, who said her client was a “pathological miser”.

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Prosecutors called for a one-year suspended prison sentence and no fine, but the court decided to hit the offender where it hurts – in the wallet – while also giving him a six-month prison sentence.

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The unemployed former white-collar worker was reported to have considerable savings, amassed when he was in employment.

But rather than eat into them he photocopied gift vouchers to get reductions on purchases in supermarkets in Brittany, western France.

He also claimed 100 per cent money-back offers several times over, using different addresses, investigators found.

The manager of one Leclerc supermarket calculated that the man claimed 12,000 euros-worth of reductions, while only spending 8,000 euros in his shop, in 2010-2011, according to the Ouest-France regional paper.

Several other companies declared themselves civil parties to the case against him.

“He is a pathological miser,” said his lawyer Hélène Laudic-Baron. “It was more a kind of gambling than anything else, he just wanted to see how far he could go.”

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