Swiss accounts of L’Oréal heiress uncovered

French tax authorities have tracked down several undeclared Swiss bank accounts allegedly belonging to L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

This content was published on November 21, 2011 - 13:43 and agencies

A total of 12 secret accounts worldwide were identified, containing around €100 million (SFr124 million) at the end of 2010, according to the Mediapart news website.

The accounts were housed in six financial institutions – including Switzerland’s UBS, Julius Bär, Hyposwiss and Banque cantonale Vaudoise. Others are held at Baring Brothers and the Singapore branch of LGT.

Previously, only two Swiss accounts had been uncovered containing around €78 million, which Bettencourt said she would then “regularise” with the tax authorities.

The 89-year-old billionaire is the 15th richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine and has been subject to legal and tax probes since 2007. In October she was placed under the guardianship of family members following concerns about her declining mental health, a ruling she plans to appeal.

According to Mediapart, French authorities said the accounts explained why monies had disappeared and were still unaccounted for in the past three years.  

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