If members of France's clubby business world are sleeping a bit less easy these days, it's thanks in part to a magistrate named Jean-Pierre Zanoto. The 50-year-old Marseillais is one of Europe's savviest investigators of white-collar crimes.
Zanoto has tackled France's biggest financial scandal: the multiyear fraud at once-mighty Credit Lyonnais. Documented losses from fraud and theft now top $20 billion, and the investigation has brought down bankers, former government ministers, and top businessmen around Europe. Zanoto continues to rock the Establishment. In April, he placed Jean-Claude Trichet, governor of the Bank of France, under investigation for possible wrongdoing related to Credit Lyonnais.
Zanoto prefers to shed the limelight. "The work I do needs a certain amount of serenity," he says. His targets, of course, are hardly serene.