Bulgari heirs battle over massive $129 million family trust
This is not a sparkling legacy for the family behind one of the world’s most enduring jewelry brands.
Two sisters who have inherited tens of millions from Italian fashion company Bulgari have been fighting over the cash for years in a battle that has been “blanketing 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 upon her death in 2019 — a fund which eventually grew to be worth $129 million, legal papers show.
The sisters, along with a third sibling, Natalia, 54, have each gotten a $40 million payout so far, but the fight has dragged on in three different courts, with dozens of lawyers and accountants reviewing 15 years of financial transactions as Ilaria, who lives in Switzerland, seeks to prove her allegations that Manhattan resident Veronica has failed to completely distribute the family’s riches. Ilaria Bulgari is fighting her sister in different courts over their family trust.Daniele Venturelli
“That is one of the things were trying to get determined,” said Ilaria lawyer David Boies, of what the younger Bulgari sister may be owed, calling it “a substantial amount.”
Veronica’s camp has declared Ilaria’s allegations “baseless,” arguing that her never-ending court war is simply draining the estate’s funds. The only cash which has been held back, they said in court papers, has been to cover taxes and other costs.
None of Ilaria’s many lawyers has objected to the 3,500-page long review of the trust’s finances, a source noted.
“Why have they not filed any objection in the Surrogate Court? The answer is there’s nothing wrong with the accounting,” said the source, who said Ilaria’s refusal to drop the legal sparring irked the sisters’ father, who cut her off financially.
“Shes 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, 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 claim spousal privilege, even if they never actually exchanged vows.
“We consider ourselves a married couple,” Boyer said in a Manhattan Federal Court filing, adding he expected any help he provided Ilaria to be confidential.
In the end, Boyer was deposed 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 attorneys stooped so low as to dupe 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 rang up the lawyers representing the estate, telling them he represented “the daughter” — but failing to clarify he had been hired by Ilaria, according to the latest lawsuit.
“The assertion is not true,” Bamdad told The Post.
The sisters are descendants of Sotiri Bulgari, whose humble family jewelry business grew into a massive brand which the clan sold in 2011 for $5.2 billion in cash and stock.