Breast implant boss linked to second firm

The French manufacturer of defective breast implants had tried to set up a new factory

Paris

The French businessman at the centre of the international scandal over defective breast implants tried to set up a new factory last summer to continue his activities.

Although already facing possible charges of fraud in France and other countries, Jean-Claude Mas was named as a "consultant" in a business plan registered by his son and daughter in June to restart the manufacture of breast implants at his original factory site near Toulon. Plans to launch the new company, France Implant Technologie have now collapsed because of the scandal surrounding the original company, PIP.

However, the fact that the new project reached an advanced planning stage raises fresh questions about the slow response of French regulatory and legal authorities to the activities of Mr Mas.

According to the official commercial prospectus obtained by the Nice Matin newspaper, Mr Mas, 72, was to be the "techno-commercial" consultant of the new company.

His son, Nicolas Lucciardi, 27, yesterday denied his father was involved in the plan to manufacture 400 breast implants a day in the disused premises of the PIP factory operated by Mr Mas for 19 years until March 2010.

Official French commercial documents registered in Toulon in June name Mr Lucciardi as the chief sponsor of the new project with his sister, Peggy, 24. He told the website of the magazine Elle: "Obviously, this project is going nowhere because of all the hounding of PIP by the media... It has fallen completely flat on its face."

PIP breast implants, fitted to 300,000 women worldwide, including 50,000 in Britain, are now known to have been manufactured from a low-grade form of silicon, approved only for industrial uses. There have been hundreds of cases of the implants leaking or ripping, raising unconfirmed fears of a possible link with cancer.

This month, the French government announced that it would pay €60m to cover the cost of the removal of PIP implants from 30,000 women in France. British health authorities insist there is no case for such drastic action and have refused to pay for the removal of PIP implants from women in the UK.

Mr Mas, who is said to be recovering from an operation at an undisclosed address in the south of France, is the subject of two fraud investigations in France. He is also sought by Interpol after his failure to answer a drink driving charge in Costa Rica.

A former salesman of medical products, Mr Mas set up Poly Implant Prothèses in 1991 and the company grew to become the third largest manufacturer of breast implants in the world. The first alert about the quality of its products was raised by the United States in 2000. A number of legal actions were also brought in Britain in 2007.

The company continued to operate until the French health watchdog, L'Agence des produits de santé, raised serious doubts about the quality of the silicon used in PIP implants in March 2010. Investigations found they were made from a grade of silicon inferior to the type that had been declared to the authorities.

This week, a French lawyer representing women fitted with PIP implants started a civil action against the German health standards agency TUV, which for years certified PIP products. TUV has announced it is suing Mr Mas.

French lawyers are also suing plastic surgeons who fitted the implants for "failing in their duty". The surgeons say it was impossible to tell that the silicon was below the declared quality. Many questions remain, however, on the failure of French authorities, and plastic surgeons in France and other countries, to react to the first US indications in 2000 that the PIP implants were potentially dangerous.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Life and Style
life
Sport
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa
football
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn