Washington, Dec 25: Liliane Bettencourt, the wealthiest woman in the world and heiress to the L'Oreal empire, has been dubbed another victim of fraudulent investment operation headed by fund manager Bernie Madoff.
The second richest person in France, with estimated wealth of 22.9 billion dollars, had entrusted part of her fortune to Madoff.
The perpetrator of the biggest financial fraud in history had been arrested and charged with securities fraud on Dec 11, reports TimesOnline.
His swindle was alleged to involve up to 50 billion dollars in cash and securities through Ponzi schemes, which involves paying abnormally high returns to investors out of the money paid in by subsequent investors, rather than from the profit from any real business.
Ron Geffner, who represents hedge funds at the New York-based law firm Sadis and Goldberg LLP, said: "More high-profile names who have been victimised by Madoff will start to become known now. There's a strong sense of anguish, fear and distrust."
The Wall Street Journal reported that the principal shareholder of L'Oral had joined a list of wealthy victims from all over the world, including Alicia Koplowitz, the Spanish billionaire, Steven Spielberg and Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate.