L’one of the richest men in France at the heart of a chilling scandal. The boss of the insurance brokerage group Assu 2000 Jacques Bouthier, indicted and imprisoned on Saturday in an investigation for “trafficking in human beings” and “rape of a minor”, resigned from his mandate as president, indicated Tuesday May 24 to Agence France-Presse the group, renamed Vilavi in January. “The Vilavi group takes note of the announcement of the resignation of Jacques Bouthier from his mandate as chairman, and of all his activities and responsibilities within the company”, he indicated, specifying that the operational conduct and commercial group is for the moment “provided by the team in place”.
In this investigation, revealed by RTL, six suspects were indicted following a preliminary investigation opened in mid-March. These are effective “in the context of a judicial investigation opened on Saturday, […] counts of human trafficking against a minor and attempt, rape of a minor over 15, recourse to prostitution of a minor” and “sexual assault on a minor under 15”, specified judicial sources close to the case at Agence France-Presse, confirming information from RTL.
Aged 75, the business manager is like the other five indicted, also suspected of “criminal association with a view to committing the crime of kidnapping and kidnapping in an organized gang and possession of child pornography images”, a detailed a source. The six people were “indicted the same day and remanded in custody,” she said.
A young woman “captive” for five years
According to a source close to the case quoted by the radio, a 22-year-old young woman presented herself to the Parisian police in March, explaining that for five years, she had been “captive” of a very wealthy man who raped her. Becoming, according to him, “too old for him”, the young woman would have been forced to find a “replacement”. A 14-year-old girl then took her place in the apartment. The complainant managed to film them together in a bed, before entrusting the video to the investigators. The CEO is suspected of having wanted to set up a team to kidnap the young woman, seize the video and force her to leave France, adds RTL.
For this, the septuagenarian would have asked his wife, two employees of his company, a young woman close to the complainant, as well as a former gendarme member of the GIGN. All were charged and jailed on Saturday. At least seven young women, minors or young adults, would have succeeded in the apartment, according to RTL. The investigation was entrusted to the brigade for the protection of minors of the Parisian PJ. For its part, the group, renamed Vilavi in January, claimed to have “read the elements relayed by the press this afternoon” (Monday, editor’s note). “They are without prejudice to the operational and commercial conduct of the company, around the team in place”, declared a spokesperson to Agence France-Presse.
A heritage estimated at 160 million euros
Founded in 1975 by Jacques Bouthier, then 28 years old, who has since run it, Assu 2000, which has become Vilavi, presents itself as the “first expert broker in insurance and credit dedicated to individuals in France” and claims 1,800 employees, 163 million euros. euros in turnover and nearly 550,000 customers insured. The first point of sale was a simple bungalow in Rosny-sous-Bois (93), explains the company’s website. The company grew in the 1980s in Île-de-France and passed the bar of 100 points of sale in 1995.
In an interview with the magazine Undertake in 2019, Jacques Bouthier explained that his “family context” had not “particularly pushed him towards the company” and defined himself at a young age as impatient, ambitious and pretentious. Today, his group has 11 brands specializing in insurance and credit brokerage and wealth management, including Assu 2000, but also Euroassurance and Assuréo. He has bet a lot on advertising campaigns to grow, including that of 2018 which features television host Denis Brogniart. In 2020, the magazine Challenges Jacques Bouthier class 487and in its ranking of the main fortunes of France, with a heritage estimated at 160 million euros. It dropped out of the chart the following year.