Bronfman Faces Preliminary Stock Charges
February 8, 2008 at 5:34 AM (PT)
WARNER MUSIC GROUP Chairman/CEO EDGAR BRONFMAN JR. faces preliminary charges of insider trading as part of a probe into alleged wrongdoing at FRENCH media and telecom group VIVENDI UNIVERSAL, judicial officials said THURSDAY. BUSINESSWEEK reports BRONFMAN, the former EVP of VIVENDI, is suspected of insider trading in connection with a sale of VIVENDI shares in JANUARY, 2000, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Under FRENCH law, preliminary charges mean an investigating judge has determined there is strong evidence to suggest involvement in a crime. The filing gives the magistrate time to pursue an investigation that can result in a trial or in the charges being dropped.
BRONFMAN's lawyer, THIERRY MAREMBERT, emphasized that the proceedings are preliminary and his client "has cooperated fully with FRENCH inquiries into VIVENDI UNIVERSAL share transactions."
"MR. BRONFMAN's transactions have at all times been proper and at no time did he contravene any FRENCH laws or regulations," MAREMBERT said in a written statement.
BRONFMAN was CEO of SEAGRAM CO. when it merged with VIVENDI in 2000, and he served as Executive Vice Chairman of the merged business until he resigned in MARCH, 2002. He remained with the company as a consultant and Vice Chairman of its board after his resignation. Several other former VIVENDI executives, including ex-Chairman JEAN-MARIE MESSIER, also face preliminary charges as part of the investigation.