Bulgari heirs are fighting over a massive $129 million family trust


March 18, 2023 | 8:36 am

This is not a sparkling legacy for the family behind one of the world’s most enduring jewelery brands.

Two sisters who inherited tens of millions from Italian fashion firm Bulgari have been fighting over the money for years in a battle that has “blanketed most of Wall Street with subpoenas,” according to court papers.

Ilaria Bulgari has accused older sister Veronica, 58, of withholding information from her about the massive family trust created for their mother, Anna, and left to them on her death in 2019 – a fund which eventually grew to 129 million dollars worth, legal documents show.

The sisters, along with a third sibling, Natalia, 54, have each received a payout of $40 million so far, but the battle has dragged on in three different courts, where dozens of lawyers and accountants have reviewed 15 years of financial transactions like Ilaria, who lives in Switzerland, seeks to prove his claims that Veronica, who lives in Manhattan, has failed to fully distribute the family’s wealth.

Ilaria Bulgari is fighting her sister in various courts over their family trust.
Daniele Venturelli

“That’s one of the things we’re trying to get determined,” Ilaria attorney David Boies said of what the younger Bulgari sister may owe, calling it “a significant amount.”

Veronica’s camp has declared Ilaria’s claims “baseless,” arguing that her endless court battles are simply draining the estate’s funds. The only cash that has been withheld, they said in court papers, has been to cover taxes and other costs.

None of Ilaria’s many lawyers have objected to the 3,500-page review of the trust’s finances, a source noted.

“Why have they not filed any objection in the Surrogate’s Court? The answer is that there is nothing wrong with the accounting,” said the source, who said Ilaria’s refusal to drop the legal sparring annoyed the sisters’ father, who cut her off financially.

“She has alienated her entire family,” the source added.

The sisters each received $40 million from a trust they inherited from their mother.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The dispute is so ugly that Veronica has accused Ilaria’s investor boyfriend, Jan Boyer, of being involved in the fight – prompting both Ilaria and Jan to declare themselves married under Swiss law and invoke spousal privilege, even though they never actually exchanged vows .

“We consider ourselves a married couple,” Boyer said in a Manhattan court filing, adding that he expected any help he gave Ilaria to be confidential.

Boyer was ultimately dismissed in the case earlier this month, Boies said.

The Bulgari family sold the brand for 5 billion.
Getty Images

In a new lawsuit filed this week in Manhattan, Veronica claims one of Ilaria’s many lawyers stooped so low that he tricked another set of lawyers into handing over estate documents, and refuses to return them.

Veronica Bulgari, who is the executor of her mother’s estate, claims attorney David Bamdad called the attorneys representing the estate and told them he was representing the “daughter” — but failed to clarify that he had been hired by Ilaria, according to the latest court case.

“The allegation is not true,” Bamdad told The Post.

The sisters are descendants of Sotiri Bulgari, whose humble family jewelry business grew into a massive brand that the clan sold in 2011 for $5.2 billion in cash and stock.

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