Nearly 1,500 Belgians hit by a vast ancient manuscript fraud
Friday, 27 February 2015
After the Belgian branch of Aristophil SA, a company that offered its clients ancient manuscripts and letters, went bankrupt, nearly 1,500 Belgians submitted requests to receive their documents. Aristophil’s debt is estimated at 13 million euros, L’Echo revealed on Friday. By submitting a claim, people who bought a manuscript or ancient letter hope to finally get their hands on the documents. If the document can’t be found, for one reason or another, an amount equivalent to its estimated value will be added to the debt.
Aristophil offered collectors (or investors) the chance to buy a manuscript, on condition it remained available to the company so it could be exhibited in its two letter and manuscript museums (Paris and Brussels). At the same time, Aristophil guaranteed an 8% annual yield over 5 years.
Under penal investigation in Belgium, and France, the Aristophil Empire has crumbled. In Belgium, it declared bankruptcy at the end of last year.