Queen’s uncle convicted of fraud

The Uncle of Queen Mathilde, Count Henri d'Udekem d'Acoz has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence and a fine after having been found guilty of defrauding a man from the West Flemish municipality of Ingelmunster. Count d'Udekem d'Acoz has lodged an appeal.

Count d'Udekem d'Acoz’s barrister Herman Baron says that his client had been too gullible and that the Count had been a victim of deception himself.

In 2007 the man from Ingelmunster had wanted to turn some agricultural land into building plots. He enlisted the assistance of Count d'Udekem d'Acoz who is also a solicitor.

The request for a change of status of the land from agricultural to building land was already been dealt with by the relevant Flemish regional authorities in Brussels. However, Count d'Udekem d'Acoz, a former Christian democrat Mayor of the West Flemish town of Poperinge, was to have helped things along together with the two other people that were also tried.

The case also involves an inheritance and the valuation of some works of art. One of the accused pretended to be a valuer of antiques that worked for the Louvre art gallery in Paris. He drew up fraudulent certification for the antiques at the victim’s parents’ home. The victims’ parents paid him 45,000 euro.

Count d'Udekem d'Acoz has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence. The other accused in the case of the real estate was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment, six months of which suspended.

The phoney antique valuer has been given an eight month suspended sentence. The three must pay 60,000 in damages to the man from and his parents. The family was defrauded out of more than 100,000.

The court ruled that this had been proven and the attribution of further damages will be discussed at a civil hearing due to start on 7 March next year.

82-year-old Count d'Udekem d'Acoz and the was not in court.