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A major criminal investigation into the affairs of L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, and notably the suspected illegal funding of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign, has established that at least 800,000 euros were withdrawn from her secret Swiss bank accounts when Sarkozy was running for the presidency. Last week Bettencourt’s long-serving wealth manager, Patrice de Maistre, was imprisoned after being placed under formal investigation for financial corruption and for abusing the mental frailty of the L’Oréal heiress, now aged 89. The move followed the placing under investigation, in February, of Eric Woerth, former budget minister and Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign treasurer, in connection with the suspected scam. Fabrice Arfi reports.
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