After the failure of the unlawful appropriation of shares in Bacardi Ltd. inherited by Lord Luis Bacardi but artificially placed in the Corniche Trust, the purported BASTILLE TRUST was founded in Liechtenstein against the expressed instructions of the late Lord Luis Bacardi, and another 20 years ago of abuse and suffering have passed.
Indeed, on 14 July 2003, his Liechtenstein lawyers E.W. and Louis Mudry. taking advantage of his steadily deteriorating state of health, and acting through their Liechtenstein fiduciary company, as formal settlor, set up the purported of BASTILLE TRUST and allocated therein, without legal title, Lord Luis Bacardi’s shares in Bacardi Ltd, in his alleged interest.
Recently, however, the same fiduciary company who constituted the purported BASTILLE TRUST has also declared in court documents that the constitution such a legal instrument and its underlying vehicles was a fatal mistake.
Through fraud and treachery assets and inheritance were removed from Lady Monika Bacardi and Maria Luisa Bacardi’s control.
Since then Lady Monika Bacardi and Maria Luisa Bacardi have been fighting against a network of Liechtenstein lawyers and professional trustees, lies and legal trickery, and every time Lady Monika Bacardi and Maria Luisa Bacardi believe the horror is over, they are fooled again by Liechtenstein professional trustees! Years of ramified lawsuits, attempts to split mother and daughter, defamation, knowingly incorrect legal advice, are only a small part of the whole story.
Their story illustrates the intolerable conditions in the Principality of Liechtenstein.
After having won after long years of legal battles within the Corniche Trust the conspiracy organised against him aimed at appropriating his shares in Bacardi Ltd., the late husband of Lady Monika Bacardi – Lord Luis Bacardi – became seriously ill. To provide for the financial future of his wife and their only child, he instructed his lawyers E.W. and Louis Mudry to make arrangements. In a handwritten letter dated 12 September 2002 to his then lawyer E.W., who was even Foreign Minister of the Principality of Liechtenstein in the early 2000s, Lord Luis Bacardi wrote:
“I want a legal way, if possible, not a trust; I want to take care of Monika (Lady) and our daughter so that I can have “peace of mind” and die that way”.
At that time Lord Luis Bacardi already had a trust called Lugocamba Trust which was initially established by his lawyer Louis Mudry in the jurisdiction of Guernsey and in which the mistress of this latter was one of the beneficiaries.
Instead of taking his wishes seriously, the lawyers E.W. and Louis Mudry, by the said fiduciary company, established a trust – the purported BASTILLE TRUST – anyways by taking advantage of his state of health and deceived Lord Luis Bacardi about their true purposes. A considerable part of his assets – including the Bacardi Ltd. shares – were just transferred from Lugocamba Trust and from another Liechtenstein vehicle to the purported BASTILLE TRUST.
Due to the advanced illness of Lord Luis Bacardi, the two lawyers thought it would be easy to control him. E.W. and Louis Mudry joined Lord Luis Bacardi as members of the board of trustees, with all powers, including those of appointing/revoking the beneficiaries of the purported BASTILLE TRUST, exercisable two out of three. A memory protocol of Lord Luis Bacardi’s doctor, that was only recently provided, reaffirms the evidence that the professional trustees shamelessly took advantage of the deteriorating state of health of Lord Luis Bacardi.
Back in 2004, when Lord Luis Bacardi discovered provisions in the trust deed that were against his will, wishes and interests, Lord Luis Bacardi tried to prevent the worst – the de facto theft of his estate. He resigned as a family member of the board of trustees to declare the trust null and void. In an obscure legal maneuver, the Liechtenstein professional trustees (the same two lawyers E.W. and Louis Mudry) instead replaced him with Facundo Bacardi – CEO of Bacardi Ltd. and Lord Luis Bacardi’s opponent – as a member of the board of trustees (family trustee) and also attempted to steal the Bacardi Ltd. shares held at the Pictet Bank in Geneva safe. Only the bank’s prior refusal and then Lord Luis Bacardi’s appeal to the Geneva Court averted the theft of the Bacardi Ltd. shares.
Lord Luis Bacardi records his horror in a letter: “I must state that I am absolutely dumbfounded that 3 attorneys (!) should league themselves against a dying old man to act in total disregard of his wishes, but I realize that there are such large amounts of money and possibly power at stake that, perhaps, all other considerations including the protection of the principal beneficiaries of the trust may become of secondary importance”
During the subsequent legal proceedings, Lord Luis Bacardi died and his widow Lady Monika Bacardi had to continue the lawsuit. Inexperienced in litigation, she had to rely completely on the Liechtenstein lawyers, and especially on the Liechtenstein lawyer Dr. Bernhard Lorenz, who had concealed, since the outset, from Lady Monika Bacardi that the law firm Marxer & Partners, of which he was a partner, had been acting on behalf of Lord Luis Bacardi’s nieces against Lord Luis Bacardi within the Corniche Trust from the early 1980s until 2001.
Instead of taking a very easy and obvious legal action to have the purported BASTILLE TRUST lifted, this lawyer Dr. Bernhard Lorenz. sought only to remove the initial trustees. After four years of legal proceedings Facundo Bacardi and the other initial trustees were removed from the trust by order of the Supreme Court (see Supreme Court of Liechtenstein as Constitutional Court; StGH 2007/137 of 9 December 2008). The first two judgments, both of which had already ordered the removal of Facundo Bacardi and the other trustees, were appealed by the latter with the object of keeping the trust and their positions in the trust alive. Moreover, these judgments, although in the legal proceedings aimed only at the removal of the trustees, unambiguously established the non-existence and nullity of the purported BASTILLE TRUST (it is therefore a case of very clear res judicata).
In order to complete its design Dr. Bernhard Lorenz, instead of giving effect to the non-existence and nullity of the purported BASTILLE TRUST, already established in the proceedings aimed at revoking Facundo Bacardi and the initial trustees Louis Mudry and E.W., on 20 April, 2009 filed in the purported interest of Lady Monika Bacardi and the other executor of Lord Luis Bacardi’s will, EQUIOM SAM, a petition to the Princely Court of Liechtenstein seeking:
– his appointment as professional trustee of the purported BASTILLE TRUST,
– the appointment of the two supervisory trustees, who had already been appointed to such role by the Princely Court of Liechtenstein in December 2004, (at the beginning of the proceedings initiated by Lord Luis Bacardi to revoke Facundo Bacardi and the initial trustees), as other professional trustees and
– the appointment of his client Lady Monika Bacardi as family trustee.
On 27 September 2009, the Princely Court of Liechtenstein granted the petition of this lawyer and appointed the four new BASTILLE TRUST trustees, emphasizing the special role of Lady Monika Bacardi as family trustee for the protection of her daughter’s interests. Furthermore, it mentions explicitly the dislike of Maria Luisa Bacardi displayed by Facundo Bacardi and the rest of the Bacardi family and Bacardi Ltd.
After a decade of apparent tranquility, (in which, however, the new professional trustees of the purported BASTILLE TRUST continued to support, unbeknownst to Lady Monika Bacardi and in violation of their statutory powers, at the governance of Bacardi Ltd. its CEO Facundo Bacardi, despite having only formally obtained his removal as trustee of the purported BASTILLE TRUST), dark clouds loomed once again over the lives of Maria Luisa Bacardi and her mother, Lady Monika Bacardi. Still unbeknownst to Lady Monika, her lawyer Dr. Bernhard Lorenz, become also leading professional trustee of the purported BASTILLE TRUST had kept her in the dark about the nullity of the Trust and the murky maneuvers within it. The lawyer’s deception was about to shatter their peaceful existence again.
Approaching Maria Luisa’s 18th birthday, the lawyer Dr. Bernhard Lorenz, who also serves as leading trustee of the purported BASTILLE TRUST, presented specious dubious tax concerns about the distribution of accumulated dividends to Maria Luisa Bacardi. Lady Monika, growing suspicious, embarked on her own investigation and uncovered a shocking truth—the voting rights of Bacardi Ltd. shares had been exercised from 2005 to 2019 by the initial trustees and the new professional trustees of BASTILLE TRUST against her late husband’s wishes and always following the instruction of Facundo Bacardi.
In an attempt to placate Lady Monika Bacardi, the lawyer Dr. Bernhard Lorenz. and the professional trustees proposed transferring the accumulated dividends due to Maria Luisa Bacardi from the purported BASTILLE TRUST to a new trust. However, they underestimated Lady Monika’s resolve to unveil the truth behind their opaque schemes. Faced with her unwavering determination, they resorted to legal manipulation and summoned her to the Regional Court of the Principality of Liechtenstein to strip her of the purported BASTILLE TRUST and the Liechtenstein underlying vehicles of purported BASTILLE TRUST.
The professional trustees’ grasp tightened as their mandates were set to expire. Using legal trickery, they reappointed themselves against Lady Monika’s wishes. They scheduled a trustees meeting, circumventing the official procedures and preventing Lady Monika’s representatives from participating. When the trust deed explicitly required Lady Monika’s consent for the reappointment, Dr. Bernhard Lorenz filed a court application seeking her dismissal.
The court’s decision to reappoint the Liechtenstein trustees without proper verification or hearing both sides exposed a glaring lack of understanding of trust law. The judges’ hasty ruling further entangled Lady Monika’s fight for justice.
In May 2019, the Liechtenstein trustees falsely claimed that Bank Vontobel requested the purported BASTILLE TRUST to be classified as a financial entity for tax purposes in order to perform the CRS and FATCA reports by itself. However, Bank Vontobel disproved their assertion of the Liechtenstein trustees by confirming that such classification was solely the trustees’ decision.
Examining the exorbitant fees charged by the professional trustees to the purported BASTILLE TRUST exposed their self-serving interests. The leading trustee, Dr. Bernhard Lorenz, the former lawyer of Lady Monika Bacardi revoked is such capacity by Lady Monika Bacardi on 2019, in addition to an annual lump sum, billed substantial amounts for vague time spent.
But the issue of professional fees became paradoxical when legal proceedings were re-initiated. In short, the legal fees for the litigation against Lady Monika Bacardi and Maria Luisa Bacardi are charged by the Liechtenstein trustees on the trust fund (basically, assets of Lady Monika Bacardi and Maria Luisa Bacardi), while these latter had to bear also their own expenses and legal fees.
As Lady Monika Bacardi and Maria Luisa fought to reclaim their rightful inheritance, they discovered the depths of deceit within the purported BASTILLE TRUST. Their battle for justice would not only expose the manipulative trustees but also reveal the true nature of the Liechtenstein trust law and the lengths some would go to protect their own interests.
An endless nightmare awaited them, but they would stop at nothing to see the truth prevail.
After 40 years of litigation in Liechtenstein in which Lord Luis Bacardi and Lady Monika Bacardi spent tens and tens of millions of Euros on lawyers and trustees who then systematically betrayed their confidence and mandate by switching sides, Lady Monika Bacardi and Maria Luisa Bacardi only wish to end and lose the remaining legal disputes in Liechtenstein as soon as possible so that they can bring the entire case, in all its various aspects, to the International Courts in order to put an end to and obtain justice for the repeated and serious abuses perpetrated in Liechtenstein against their family over the last 40 years. The objective of Lady Monika Bacardi and Maria Luisa Bacardi is not only to have the ineffective and nullity of the purported BASTILLE TRUST be declared, but also to challenge the Liechtenstein Trust, (the treuhänderschaft), which, as such, violates Article 1, Protocol 1 of the ECHR and several fundamental articles and principles of the EEA Agreement and TFEU.