Jean-Paul Lafragette, director of L&L and owner of three Bordeaux chateaux, has been taken into police custody and is being held in prison

The 58-year-old Lafragette, who was suspended in June last year as the director of L&L – producer of a popular cognac based cocktail called Alizé – has been under investigation for misappropriation of company funds.

He was taken by police from his Bordeaux home in Château de Rouillac on Tuesday 24 June.

He was held for 48 hours and, after a hearing last week (Thursday 26 June), he was moved to prison in the nearby city of Angouleme.

The original charges against Lafragette, taken last year by the New York based Kobrand Corporation, which owns 51% of the Cognac based L&L, related to the misappropriation of monies totaling about €1m.

The current investigation however is now understood to relate to a network of business dealings and a sum of up to €10m.

Local newspaper SudOuest suggested that Lafragette could be forced to sell his shares in L&L to Kobrand, and some of his Bordeaux properties, which along with his Château de Rouillac home in Pessac Leognan, are Château Loudenne, in the Medoc and Château de l’Hopital in Graves.

Neither the chateaux nor the company could be reached for comment.

Written by Sophie Kevany in Bordeaux