Bankrupt Wijet boss Azoulay targeted for tax fraud, according to report

By Doug Gollan, September 18, 2021

(Editor’s Note: April 6, 2023: Azoulay contacted us requesting that we remove this post. The source we used for this post has removed the article we based this report on. However, the outlet, Gotham City, stands behind its reporting. You can read both Azoulay’s request and the response from Gotham City at the end of this post).

European very light jet operator stopped its French operations in late 2019. It promised to emerge in 2020 in Luxembourg, which it never did.

The company had been in financial trouble since at least the summer of 2018. That was shortly after closing its U.K. subsidiary Blink Air without notice, putting it into receivership. Both Wijet and Blink sold prepaid jet cards, putting unused consumer funds at risk.

After buying Blink in 2016, Wijet said it planned to grow its fleet to 50 jets by 2020. It also announced an order for 16 HondaJets.

Now Gotham City, a Swiss newsletter that tracks white-collar crime reports, “The National Directorate of Fiscal Investigations (DNEF) is interested in the Luxembourg holding company of entrepreneur Alexandre Azoulay. According to the tax authorities, the company Cynegy Holdings Luxembourg would have no actual existence and allowed its French subsidiary, Cynegy Holdings France, to artificially reduce its profit. The Paris Court of Appeal validated a search carried out in December 2019 at the Paris headquarters of the latter.”

Azoulay co-founded WiJet in 2008.

Email from Azoulay to us on April 5, 2023.

Dear Doug,

We never met before, and this is really unfortunate.

I have left the private jet industry after the sad demise of Wijet back in 2019, four years ago.  I am an entrepreneur. 

Failing at saving an airline is not a fault and I truly loved this airline which I started in 2009. I did everything I lost millions in this project. I am an American at heart, started my career as the probably only French entrepreneur in Kansas City back in 1999. I believe in causes and consequences: il life, you get what you deserve.

Notwithstanding, I just believe that so many people used your platform to harm me and my family, leveraging the past -and still amazing- history of Wijet.  I am not such a bad person or businessman.

As such, your article on a (nonexistent) "tax fraud" is hurting me, my family and my business.  My son is now 15, my daughter is 13. They asked me about your article after one of their friends mentioned it to them. The swiss article you are using to support this article has been rightfully removed as the journalist understood it was baseless and uselessly defaming.

Because it is simply not true: there is nothing going on my taxes. It  was a classic check like it  for millions of taxpayers in developed countries, which was spinned by former employees or partners. I sued the authorities on the core basis of their questions, lost (as it is most of the case as you can imagine) and nothing has been happening since then and for a reason. I am not evading taxes. I have always lived in France. The very person who probably incentivized you made a payment to my companies in December 2022 to avoid a jury trial for libel. I can share relevant documents.

Can we please get on a call together - so at least you finally have the facts and understand who I am, my values. This is really important for me, my family please.

Thank you
All the best

Response from Gotham City

Hi Doug,

We stand behind our report. We agreed to remove it last year at Azoulay’s request, as he says that the case is closed and because we were unable to find any follow up by the French tax authority, three years after the perquisition.

François Pilet

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