Penelope Fillon, Wife of Beleaguered French Presidential Candidate, Charged for Embezzlement of Funds
As the first round of voting draws closer, things get worse still for the Fillons.
With less than a month to go before the first round of the French presidential elections, Penelope Fillon, wife of center-right candidate François Fillon, has been put under formal investigation -- the French version of being charged -- over embezzlement, aggravated fraud, and misappropriation of public funds. Her husband was charged earlier this month.
With less than a month to go before the first round of the French presidential elections, Penelope Fillon, wife of center-right candidate François Fillon, has been put under formal investigation — the French version of being charged — over embezzlement, aggravated fraud, and misappropriation of public funds. Her husband was charged earlier this month.
Penelope Fillon was charged over the same scandal that has haunted her husband’s presidential run: In January, French publication Le Canard Enchainé reported that Fillon had had his wife and two of their five children paid nearly one million euros to work as parliamentary aides. These are widely suspected to be fake jobs, but, even if they were not, their salaries were well over what other, non-Fillon parliamentary aides receive.
Fillon also allegedly received 40,000 euros to arrange a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and a Lebanese billionaire.
Both Fillons have denied any wrongdoing. Fillon (candidate edition) once said he would drop out of the race if formally charged, but has since refused to do that. Instead, he insists that he is the victim of a “political assassination.”
He was once considered to be the favorite to win the French presidency, but is now polling third, behind Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right National Front, and Emmanuel Macron, the independent centrist candidate. The first round of voting will take place on Apr. 23.
Photo credit: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images
Emily Tamkin is a global affairs journalist and the author of The Influence of Soros and Bad Jews. She was a staff writer at Foreign Policy from 2016-2018. Twitter: @emilyctamkin
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