French Cosmetics Heiress: Very Good Friend or Gigolo Dupe?

1:00 pm Uncategorized

French cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt gave gifts totaling approximately $1.23 billion to a society photographer she says is her friend.  Her only child, daughter Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, begs to differ and has filed suit in a French court against photographer and author Francois-Marie Banier.

Meyers says that Banier manipulated her mother, now 87, into providing him with gifts of cash, art and real estate.  Under French law, Banier has been charged with “abuse of weakness” and could face both time in prison and a hefty fine.

The L’Oreal heiress says she was not manipulated and is opposing her daughter’s suit against Banier.

The trial was disrupted this week by new evidence presented by the plaintiff’s attorney:  a number of audio recordings made secretly by Bettencourt’s former butler that have the heiress talking about hidden assets, including undeclared bank accounts.

According to news reports, the tapes reveal that Bettencourt has been hiding millions of euros in Swiss bank accounts to avoid paying taxes while employing the wife of France’s former budget minister as a financial advisor.  That budget minister – Eric Woerth, now France’s work and pensions minister – had led a well-publicized campaign against tax evasion.

Help is available to you by contacting your Southern California financial planning experts today.

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