Paris court suspends tax fraud, money laundering trial of art dealer Guy Wildenstein

PARIS – A Paris court has suspended the tax fraud and money laundering trial of Guy Wildenstein, the French-American heir of a New York art-dealing empire, over a possible legal loophole.

The criminal court has set the new trial date as May 4, after Wildenstein’s lawyers argued that tax and criminal charges had been doubled up.

Wildenstein went on trial after two relatives tipped off investigators about the family’s financial dealings — prompting authorities to demand a staggering 553 million euros ($602 million) in back taxes.

The 70-year-old Wildenstein is accused of concealing much of his inherited fortune in trusts held in offshore tax havens — in one of the biggest tax fraud trials ever held in France. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.