International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde was ordered Thursday to stand trial in France for alleged negligence in a $432 million payment to a businessman while she was the French finance minister. The order was made by France’s Court of Justice of the Republic, which is responsible for investigating current and former ministers. While Lagarde was finance minister under then-President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, she awarded $432 million to Bernard Tapie, who sold his stake in Adidas to investment bank Credit Lyonnais. Tapie later alleged fraud in the process that the bank valued the company. Investigators suspect Tapie was awarded compensation in return for his support of Sarkozy. This month, the court ordered him to pay back the money and have now ruled Lagarde should be tried. If convicted, she could be sentenced to one year in prison.
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