Billionaire Bernard Arnault and Russian tycoon Nikolai Sarkisov `are under preliminary investigation` for allegedly engaging in `transactions that could constitute money laundering,` the Paris Prosecutor’s Office said on CNN.

The preliminary investigation means Arnault is not yet considered a suspect and has not been accused of wrongdoing.

Billionaire Bernard Arnault (left) and Russian tycoon Nikolai Sarkisov.

Le Monde said that the above minutes were sent by Tracfin to the Prosecutor’s Office in Lyon in December 2022.

According to this minutes, Sarkisov’s companies bought 14 properties at the resort in Courchevel (France) in 2018 for 16 million euros (17 million USD).

Sarkisov’s name does not appear in any of the books of the company that made the purchases, SNC La Fleche.

At the same time, Le Monde said SNC La Fleche bought three other properties in the same area from a company called SNC Croix Realty, for 2.2 million euros.

Tracfin said that through his own company, French billionaire Bernard Arnault lent Sarkisov 18.3 million euros (19.4 million USD) to carry out the above deals.

The investigation therefore focuses on explaining Arnault’s actions.

Le Monde quoted sources close to Arnault as affirming that the transactions `strictly comply with the law`.

Sarkisov is currently not on the list of individuals sanctioned by the West after the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Arnault is the CEO and chairman of the world’s largest luxury goods empire, LVMH.