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Strauss-Kahn: prosecutor investigates over hedge fund failure

Dominique Strauss-Kahn. File
Dominique Strauss-Kahn. File AFP/ François Lo Presti

According to national public radio station France Inter, former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under a preliminary investigation over fraud following the failure of a hedge fund that bore his name: Leyne Strauss-Kahn Partners.

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The public prosecutor's office in Paris opened an investigation on 28 July 2015 over the failure of the hedge fund Leyne Strauss-Kahn Partners (LSK) after reviewing complaints of two creditors, amongst them, the French businessman Jean-François Ott.

LSK would have accumulated more than 100 million euros undercovered liabilities at the time it declared bankrupcy in 2014 and about 150 creditors claim repayment.

Strauss-Kahn joined the board in 2013 and took over the chair the same year, although he resigned one year later (in October 2014) following the suicide Thierry Leyne, who had co-founded the investment firm with Strauss-Kahn.

The fund filed for bankruptcy in November 2014 amid speculation about the depth of Leyne’s financial troubles.

According to France Inter, his lawyer Jean Veil wrote in a letter sent to the prosecutor that Strauss-Kahn “had never held any operational function” within the LSK fund.

“His signature has appeared on several minutes from governing boards which he never attended”, added Veil.

Strauss-Kahn stepped down as head of the IMF in 2011 after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid.

The case was dropped in 2012, but his presidential ambitions were in tatters.

The new hedge fund case will continue to weigh on his efforts to rehabilitate his professional reputation.

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