PARIS: France's financial prosecutor's office on Thursday said it had widened an existing probe into alleged tax fraud by consultancy group McKinsey's to include the role of consultancy groups in the 2017 and 2022 election races and alleged "favouritism".
The financial prosecutor (PNF) said an investigation had been opened in late October into allegations of improperly keeping campaign accounts and the conditions under which consulting firms had intervened in the two election campaigns. The PNF did not say whose election campaigns were under scrutiny.
President Emmanuel Macron's office declined to comment. A McKinsey spokesperson acknowledged a request for comment sent by SMS. Phone calls to the consultancy's head office in Paris went unanswered.
The use of private consultants by President Emmanuel Macron's government exploded as an unexpected issue ahead of this spring's presidential election, which Macron won. The opposition had accused Macron's government of spending too much on international consultancies that pay little or no tax in France.
That initial investigation into the U.S. management consultancy was triggered after the French Senate in March alleged that the firm was not paying corporate taxes in France. McKinsey has consistently denied any wrongdoing.