Home help for resistance fighter Madeleine Riffaud, aged 99, suspected of breach of trust for damage of more than 140,000 euros

Suspected of breach of trust, Madeleine Riffaud’s home help will be judged next December. The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation after reading an account statement showing unjustified expenses.

The home help of former resistance fighter Madeleine Riffaud will be tried at the Paris criminal court on December 19, suspected of breach of trust against the nonagenarian, franceinfo learned on Wednesday October 25 from the Paris prosecutor’s office.

The prosecution had received a complaint filed on February 7, 2022 by a friend of Madeleine Riffaud, now aged 99. This friend of the former resistance fighter then accused Madeleine Riffaud’s home help of breach of trust against her. The nonagenarian, one of the first French war correspondents, had benefited from home help for many years “particularly due to his blindness”specifies the prosecution.

The Paris prosecutor’s office then opened an investigation after reading an account statement revealing unjustified expenses inconsistent with the lifestyle of the former resistance fighter. The damage is estimated at more than 140,000 euros.

Expenses in clothing stores, at the beautician

Madeleine Riffaud has been blind and bedridden for 12 years. Those close to this former war journalist, decorated numerous times, assure that she lives modestly. His home help regularly made purchases with the victim’s bank card. Investigators analyzed the bank statements of the former resistance fighter. They thus spotted “unbelievable expenses”according to them, restaurant bills, expenses at the hairdresser, at the beautician, in clothing stores, as well as purchases of cat food and a sparkling water machine.

Investigations also show that, from 2015 to 2021, home help did not make any food purchases, sometimes for several months. The 66-year-old caregiver is also suspected of having inflated the invoices for her services, after concluding a contract with Madeleine Riffaud to help keep her at home.

Placed under judicial supervision

The home help was presented at the end of her custody to a public prosecutor, who informed her that she will be tried in criminal court on December 19 in Paris. She will appear for “breach of trust aggravated by the particular vulnerability of the victim”. The penalty incurred is seven years and a fine of 750,000 euros. In the meantime, she has been placed under judicial supervision, with a ban on contact with the victim and on exercising the same type of profession.

Arrested after shooting dead a German soldier in July 1944, Madeleine Riffaud was tortured for three weeks by the Germans, then by the French. She finally escaped her death sentence and deportation and fought for the Liberation of Paris at the head of a detachment of men. The resistance has just published the second volume of a comic book about her life.

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