French breast implant fraud boss tries to start new company

The man at the centre of France’s breast implant scandal has been trying to get back into the business, reports say. Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) boss Jean-Claude Mas reportedly founded a new company along with his son and daughter in June, and was described as a “creative genius” in the business plan.

Reuters/Enrique Marcarian

The firm, called France Implant Technologie (FIT), was registered under the names of Mas’s son, Nicolas Lucciardi, 27, and daughter, Peggy Lucciardi, 24, at the address of their mother, Dominique Lucciardi, who was Mas's former civil partner.

Spate of high-profile trials in France

In a business plan obtained by local paper Nice-Matin, Mas is named as a "technical-commercial consultant" to the company and described as “a creative genius”. Two former PIP managers were listed in senior positions in the company.

FIT’s objectives are listed as exporting implants to the "European, South American and Chinese markets".

The plan proposed the investment of two million euros to put the former PIP plant back into operation, aiming to manufacture 400 implants a day with about 20 workers.

PIP was closed in April 2010 after being found to have been using unauthorised silicone gel that has led to a large number of implant ruptures.

Nicolas Lucciardi told women’s magazine Elle on Thursday that the project has collapsed because of media coverage of the scandal, adding, "That's obvious."

Between 300,000 and 400,000 women in 65 European and Latin American countries have received PIP implants. Some reacted this week:

  • Brazil on Friday banned the use of the breast implants – they were taken off the market in 2010;
  • Bolivia on Thursday said that some women would have their implants replaced free of charge;
  • Venezuela has promised to replace them free of charge;
  • Ecuador banned their sale on Thursday;
  • Argentina has banned them;
  • Chile has banned them;
  • Colombia had banned them.

France’s state-run health insurance fund, the CNAM, has filed a fraud case against PIP, officials in Marseille, near the company’s laboratory at Seyne-sur-Mer, announced Friday.

Marseille prosecutors have received more than 2,500 complaints from French women who have received implants and are pursuing a criminal investigation.

Removing the implants could cost 60 million euros and the insurance fund is to seek conmpensation.

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