Investigation accuses French right-wing leader of funnelling €500K to his wife for "fake job"

François Fillon is the French Republican Party's political candidate, the right-wing frontrunner against the neofascist Marine Le Pen. Following an investigation by the Canard Enchainé newspaper, French government investigators have announced an investigation into the period in the late 1990s and early 2000s when his British-born wife Penelope drew a salary of €7,000/month as his parliamentary aide; the newspaper alleged that Ms Fillon was not actually working in Parliament at that time and drew her salary for a "fake job."

The Fillons' case is made worse by their own description of Ms Fillon's role during those years; Mr Fillon earlier stated that his wife "raised the first four of their five children virtually single-handedly at their chateau in Sarthe, while he was a lawmaker in Paris."

If Fillon's political chances are harmed by the investigation, it could open a path to victory for Le Pen, who is one little mustache short of a swastika.

At issue is what work Penelope did to earn a salary of sometimes around 7,000 euros a month between the late 1990s and the late 2000s.

The paper said it had been unable to find anyone who remembered her working in parliament.

Fillon, a conservative who is leading the race to become president in May with promises to slash public spending, has dismissed the controversy as "mudslinging."

France opens inquiry into right-wing presidential candidate Fillon's wife

(via Naked Capitalism)

(Image: World Economic Forum, CC-BY-SA)