Marine Le Pen and her father are accused of embezzling more than £500,000 from the EU days before the vote

Marine Le Pen’s presidential hopes have taken a hit as she and her father are accused of embezzling more than £500,000 from the EU in the week before she goes head-to-head with Emmanuel Macron.

  • National Rally candidate implicated in fraud investigation just days before runoff
  • Marine Le Pen and Jean-Marie’s father accused of embezzling more than £500,000
  • “Le Pen is alarmed,” her lawyer said, calling the timing of the investigation “deeply political.”
  • She is accused of diverting EU funds to pay for a former army bodyguard.

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Potential French President Marine Le Pen found herself at the center of a major fraud criminal investigation tonight after she and her senior colleagues were accused of stealing more than half a million pounds from the European Union.

EU investigators have accused Le Pen, 53, and her own father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, 93, of embezzling around 620,000 euros (£513,000) on behalf of their party, the far-right National Rally.

The allegations were made public on Sunday, exactly a week before Ms Le Pen will go head-to-head with Emmanuel Macron to choose a new French president.

56719087 10726743 Le Pen Pictured At A Rally On Thursday A 2 1650219519114

Le Pen, pictured at Thursday’s rally, is said to be “alarmed” by the timing of the fraud investigation.

“Marine Le Pen is alarmed,” her lawyer, Rodolphe Bossel, said, who said the timing of the release was deeply political.

Mr Bosselut accused Olaf, the EU’s anti-fraud agency, of pulling out “old facts that are more than ten years old”.

He added: “Marine Le Pen disputes this. She disputes this without having access to the details of the allegations. It’s manipulation, and unfortunately I’m not surprised.

This followed Mediapart, a Paris-based investigative news outlet, publishing Olaf’s 116-page report on the fraud allegations.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, 93, Pictured In Eu Court In 2017, Charged With Misuse Of Funds.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, 93, Pictured In Eu Court In 2017, Charged With Misuse Of Funds.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, 93, pictured in EU court in 2017, charged with misuse of funds.

They Are Accused Of Diverting £517,000 Of Eu Funds To Their Party And Their Own Goals (Image From File)

They Are Accused Of Diverting £517,000 Of Eu Funds To Their Party And Their Own Goals (Image From File)

They are accused of diverting £517,000 of EU funds to their party and their own goals (image from file)

They accuse Le Pen of personally funneling some £114,000 (€137,000) of EU funds illegally obtained during her tenure as MEP between 2004 and 2017 into the party coffers.

Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Rally as the National Front in 1972, is also implicated.

So did her ex-boyfriend Louis Aliot, now the mayor of Perpignan, who on Sunday also denied any wrongdoing.

Le Pen is also under investigation for “breach of trust” and “misuse of public funds” in connection with the alleged misuse of EU cash to pay RN employees.

She is said to have used thousands to pay a former French army paratrooper, for example, to have him be her personal bodyguard.

Opinion polls released in France over the weekend indicate that Macron will win next Sunday’s elections by 10 points.

In 2017, Macron defeated Le Pen with 66% of the vote in the second round, compared to Le Pen’s 34%.

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