Arnaud Mimran was already serving an 8-year sentence for fraud when he received some more bad news. The high-stakes poker player and socialite behind “The swindle of the century,” a fraud committed in 2008 and 2009 that cost the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme €300 million ($345 million). However, the one-time high-profile poker player and jetsetter’s criminal ambitions didn’t end there. While sitting in a cell for that scheme, he was given another 13-year sentence for kidnapping.
A Story Ian Fleming Would Enjoy
In January 2015, Mimran’s bank accounts were frozen because of the EU Emissions tax fraud. It was at that time that he arranged to meet Yomi Rodrig, a Swiss financier, in Paris. A gang, led by a man named Sabir “Titax” Titouh, bundled Rodrig into a car and forced him to buy millions of shares of a shell company, Cassidy Ventures Inc., which was controlled by Mimran.
The deal Rodrig was supposed to make seemed strange to the Goldman Sachs representative contacted to make the arrangements. When they called Rodrig about the fact that they would not take the deal, the kidnappers forced Rodrig to buy shares through a smaller broker. In a bizarre twist, the following day, Titouh was shot dead in front of his own home.
After the death of their leader, the gang let Rodrig go, telling him he was lucky he was not killed. During his six days held captive, Rodrig was forced to buy $2.6 million in shares of the company, even though the kidnappers had been looking for more. He was finally let go and didn’t waste any time contacting authorities. Eventually, three individuals were sentenced to four to eight years in prison for their part in the scheme. Mimran, for his part, told the court that he had discussed ways of attracting investors with Titouh; however, he stated he had no knowledge of the kidnapping.
Downfall of a Titan
A day after Titouh was killed, Mimran was detained for carbon-credit tax fraud. His group exploited a loophole in the tax system between various EU states that avoided paying value-added tax (VAT) on the international trading of carbon credits. French authorities stated the government lost €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) because of this loophole. It’s estimated that other EU member states lost a total of €5 to €10 billion ($6 billion to $12 billion).
In 2006, Mimran finished 13th at the EPT Monte Carlo, but couldn’t make a living as a pro poker player. According to court findings, he had a debt of over $6 million at the Wynn Las Vegas at the time of his arrest. French tabloids adored Mimran’s relationship with Paraguayan supermodel Claudia Galanti, and he is rumored to have regularly rubbed shoulders with then-Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Prosecutors also blame Mimran for the 2010 death of French Israeli conman Sami Souied, his partner. Mimran is also linked to the murder of his father-in-law Claud Dray, a 76-year-old billionaire art dealer and hotelier who was shot dead in 2011.
Mimran reportedly tried to commit suicide in his cell after his sentencing last Friday, according to the AFP. His lawyer said he was hospitalized as of Sunday.