The Belgian tax services are doing research into the inheritance of the late Viscountess Amicie de Spoelberch (1922-2008). She was a member of the family that partly owns the brewing company AB-InBev, the largest of its kind in the world. Her parents were Viscount Olivier de Spoelberch and Madeleine de la Barre d'Erquelinnes.
The viscountess died in 2008 and no inheritance tax was paid in Belgium. She lived most of her life in Belgium, she passed away in Brussels.
Amicie owned 8 million stocks of the company. The stocks were held in Luxembourg (country, not the Belgian province) and the viscountess could count on a dividend of a million Euros per year, which was placed in an account based in Arlon, Belgian Luxembourg. She was not married and had no children of her own. Her only brother Roger died in 1993, without wife or children. His share of the family fortune was inherited by his sister Amicie.
In 2001, when she was in her late 70-ties, she married the 15-years younger Luka Bailo, a Serbian businessman who was naturalized as a Belgian and who had ties to the Serbian mafia. The couple married without a prenup. There were several legal investigations into the criminal acivities of Bailo. Among other things a female doctor was found dead in his castle in Uccle in 1998, he was robbed twice and during a search in his castle the police found 8 million Euros in cash. The viscountess approached the then PM Guy Verhofstadt to try to end the investigation.
In 2004 Amicie adopted the two adult sons of Bailo from a previous marriage, named Alexis and Patrice. A few months later Bailo died due to cancer.
As Patrice and Alexis did not care too much about their sick father, the viscountess decided to disinherit them, only to discover that her stocks were embazzled by the two brothers. Her own Luxembourg lawyer Mme Farida Chorfi was involved in the embazzlement and later was convicted in Geneva to 30 months imprisonment for fraud and later for moneylaundring. She apparently redirected 66 million Euros to her own accounts.
The two brothers in the mean time moved to Switzerland and changed their last name into Bailo de Spoelberch. In a new testament Amicie decided to scrap the names of her two adoptive sons.
The legal battle was still going on when the viscountess died in 2010. The brothers decide to settle the matter with the Spoelberch family. Part of the inheritance will go to a foundation in Liechtenstein. Another part -valued at 589 million Euros- was devided between the two.
Both parties agreed to keep complete silence over the deal. That means it happened without the knowledge of the Belgian tax authorities. The dossier inheritance of Amicie de Spoelberch has featured in the so-called Lux-leaks and Panama-leaks.
As the legal time table on the tax is due to expire soon, the authorities have now relaunched an investigation into the deal.
Both the two brothers as the other heirs have hired a small army of lawyers, which will make it more difficult for the tax service to succeed.