A daughter of the late Gabonese President Omar Bongo has for years siphoned off money from her father’s estate – squandering the cash on jewelry, luxury vacations and getaways on yachts and private jets, according to a new $50 million lawsuit.
The autocrat – who was president of the oil-rich central African country for 42 years – left hundreds of millions in his estate, which he bequeathed to 53 heirs when he died in 2009, according to the lawsuit. Manhattan Supreme Court.
But one of his daughters, Pascaline Mferri Bongo Ondimba, allegedly wrote a document making himself the executor, without the consent of her father or the other heirs, according to the complaint filed on Tuesday.
Yamilee Bongo Astier, another of the president’s 30 children, claims her sister abused her role as executor to lie about the true size of the estate and steal money for herself, the filing says.
Pascaline refused to show her will to the family and told them the value of the estate was only $50 million instead of the true amount – which is hundreds of millions, according to the lawsuit.
“Pascaline misrepresented to the plaintiffs the nature of the assets of the estate, omitting valuable real estate and other assets belonging to the estate,” accuses the lawsuit.
She then allegedly “transferred the assets” to herself, four other people and two companies – all of whom are listed as defendants in the case, according to court documents.
Instead of accounting for the estate and distributing the assets, Pascaline used the money to “fund the defendants’ extravagant lifestyles,” the suit claims.
She allegedly used the money to pay for private jets for personal travel, vacations, jewelry, luxury goods and “homes for herself and her children” and others, the lawsuit says.
Yamilee Bongo Astier and her daughter Sasha Bongo-Astier are suing for at least $50 million. The mother-daughter duo filed a complaint in Manhattan as they both reside in New York.
“The plaintiff respected cultural tradition and waited more than a decade for an estate accounting,” his attorney, Kenneth Sussmane, told The Post in a statement. “Plaintiff brought this action reluctantly to close this painful matter.”
According to a report by the Globe and Mail, citing the findings of US Senate investigations.
Her lawyer said that “the Senate investigation revealed that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Ms. Bongo-Astier or anyone else. Ms. Bongo-Astier became American citizen.
Four of the late sovereign’s other children – Grace, Betty, Arthur and Hermine Bongo – were charged in France with embezzlement and corruption in April, Agence France-Presse reported.
His son Ali Bongo Ondimba has been president of Gabon since his father’s death. He is not a party to the trial.
Pascaline Bongo declined to comment. His attorneys did not immediately return a request for comment.
New York Post