Federal prosecutors are carrying water for a French bank in a 20-year-old civil dispute on two continents by jailing a father and son without bail and charging them with a $33 million tax fraud, according to an emergency motion filed by defense attorneys in the case.

Mauricio Cohen Assor and his son Leon Cohen Levy have been detained since their arrest April 15 in New York for allegedly failing to report income from the sale of a New York hotel a decade ago.