Heiress Bettencourt’s Daughter Has Paris Home Searched in Fraud Connection

July 28, 2010

France (ChattahBox) – Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, the estranged daughter of the L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, was the first to alert police to the possible exploitation of family friend Fran├žois-Marie Banier and others close to her. But now, she is one of those under suspicion, the Telegraph reports.

The case quickly moved from the mental state of the richest woman in France, to alleged tax evasion and campaign finance fraud involving President Nicolas Sarkozy and several in his cabinet.

Conversations between the heiress and her accountants was were recorded by her then-butler, who said he was recording the evidence to protect himself if he should lose his job.

The tapes have the woman and her advisers speaking of how best to evade taxes, using secret Swiss bank accounts that are believed to hold millions. They also spoke about a Seychelles island that she has gifted to Fran├žois-Marie Banier, one of the reasons for the complaint by her daughter.

Police raided Bettencourt-Meyers’ home this morning as part of the investigation, as they believe she may have been the one to push the butler into recording the tapes, an allegation she denies.

The complicated case seems to be getting deeper and deeper by the day, with the L’Oreal owner denying all charges. She has gone so far as to suggest that her late husband might be to blame, as he was allegedly the one to handle most financial matters, party planning, and campaign donations.


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