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Strauss-Kahn firm under suspicion in France

French investigators have opened a preliminary probe into a bankrupt investment company partly run by the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a judicial source said on Friday.

The investigation was opened on July 28 after a former shareholder in the now-defunct Luxembourg-based firm, LSK, lodged a formal complaint.

Strauss-Kahn, once tipped as a future French president, was forced to resign from his role as head of the IMF in 2011 after being accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel maid.

Those criminal charges were dropped in 2012 and the case was settled in a civil suit.

He was also dragged through French courts earlier this year, accused of being at the centre of a prostitution ring, but was found not guilty.

The probe into Strauss-Kahn’s business dealings in Luxembourg focuses on a former shareholder, Jean-Francois Ott, who pumped 500,000 euros ($570,000) into the company.

Ott claims he was given a misleading impression of the firm’s financial situation when he made the cash injection.

As a result of the complaint, investigators are considering whether to open a formal probe into Strauss-Kahn and his business partners for alleged fraud and related offences. Strauss-Kahn was part of the company’s board.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Jean Veil told France Inter radio that his client had “no operational role” in the company and that he had been misled by his business partners.

The judiciary source told AFP that investigators are set to question Ott.

Strauss-Kahn had hoped to build up LSK into a $2.0-billion-dollar investment fund, but winding-up proceedings began in November 2014 after its founder, Thierry Leyne, committed suicide in Tel Aviv.