Ten face L'Oreal heiress fraud trial

Ten face L'Oreal heiress fraud trial
Liliane Bettencourt.

Ten people including a well-known French photographer are going on trial, accused of swindling millions of euro in cash and artwork from France’s richest woman.

The trial in Bordeaux is part of the complex politico-financial scandal dubbed the “Bettencourt Affair”.

Photographer Francois-Marie Banier and others are accused of taking advantage of the frail condition of 92-year-old Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune.

The complex saga also ensnared former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but he was cleared in 2013 of preliminary charges that he had taken advantage of Ms Bettencourt’s condition by accepting tens of thousands of euro in illegal campaign contributions on the way to his 2007 election victory.

Mr Sarkozy’s then-campaign treasurer, Eric Woerth, is among the 10 people going on trial in Bordeaux today.

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