• The founder of the Red Nose was sentenced this Friday by the Limoges criminal court.

  • He is notably suspected of having embezzled 243,000 euros in donations paid to the association between 2013 and 2018.

  • At the helm, the defendant strongly contested the facts without being able to give any explanations on these cash withdrawals or on his lifestyle while he was receiving the RSA.

The penalty is heavy.

The founder of an association whose stated aim was to "entertain sick children and make their dreams come true", Les Nez Rouges, was sentenced on Friday to three and a half years in prison for embezzlement, by the criminal court of Limoges.

Sébastien Buisson, 36, was also banned from carrying out any associative activity and managing a business for five years.

Three years in prison and a fine of 50,000 euros were requested on January 14 against the man, prosecuted for "aggravated breach of trust" and suspected of having embezzled 243,000 euros in donations paid to the association between 2013 and 2018.

Unjustified withdrawals, kitty misappropriation

The court accused him of acquiring an expensive vehicle for his personal use at the expense of the association, of paying donations into his personal bank account, of carrying out few actions and of not having justified transfers of funds.

In addition to 219,000 euros in unjustified cash withdrawals and 17,000 euros transferred to his personal account, the man had embezzled 6,748 euros from an online kitty opened after the burglary of the association's premises in Limoges in 2016. Prosecuted for theft and concealment to the detriment of the association, Sébastien Buisson's mother was given a six-month suspended prison sentence.

Through "days of the heart", garage sales, street collections or participation in Christmas markets, the association based in Limoges had raised 460,000 euros between 2013 and 2018 thanks to its 38 ambassadors and its thousand volunteers.

Reports since 2014

In 2014 then in 2017, the "Clowns Doux", also based in Haute-Vienne and also working with hospitalized children, had made reports to the public prosecutor's office on the operation of the "Nez Rouges", just like the CHU of Limoges whose image had been used when no agreement had been made.

Also in 2017, the financial intelligence unit Tracfin in turn alerted the public prosecutor for “atypical” financial transactions.

At the helm, Sébastien Buisson, appearing free, had firmly disputed the facts without being able to give explanations on these cash withdrawals or on his lifestyle while he was receiving the RSA.

It is not yet known whether he will appeal the decision.

Eight times convicted by the courts, Sébastien Buisson is indicted for fraud in recidivism and illegal exercise of the profession of lawyer in another case: in January 2021, he had put on a lawyer's robe, bought on the Internet, and pleaded before the judicial court of Cusset (Allier).

Justice

Limoges: Three years in prison required for an alleged scam for sick children

Lyons

Haute-Savoie: The school principal had embezzled 83,345 euros

  • Limousin

  • Child

  • Diversion

  • Association

  • Limoges

  • Aquitaine

  • Justice

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