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Legal Ethics

Financial Probe of Europe’s Weathiest Woman Could Focus on 2 Law Firms

Posted Sep 7, 2010 6:22 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A battle between an elderly heiress to the l'Oreal cosmetics fortune and her estranged daughter for control of the mother's finances has exploded into a series of investigations concerning possible money laundering and tax evasion and questionable political contributions.

But rather than being a potential target of the probe, heiress Liliane Bettencourt, 87, is considered a possible victim, reports Reuters. If she owes taxes, Bettencourt has said, she will pay.

The news agency was unable to confirm a report by a Swiss daily newspaper that two law firms in Geneva might be a focus of the investigation, which concerns the management of Bettencourt's assets.

Her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, contends that Bettencourt is no longer able to manage her fortune of $22 billion.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Report: DA’s Office Is Probing Finances of Heiress, 104; Lawyer & Accountant Handle Her $500M Assets"

New York Daily News: "Huguette Clark's lawyer fires back at relatives who want him ousted"

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