The uncle of Queen Mathilde of the Belgians is on trial for fraud. “Nonkel Henri” or Count Henri d’Udekem d’Acoz allegedly tried to scam people in Flemish-Brabant for tens of thousands of euros, together with an another man. He has already been convicted to six months in jail for another case.
Count Henri, who is 83 years old and a respected lawyer, and the other suspect, who is 53, repeatedly visited a couple in the midst of a divorce and they used the Count’s “good standing” to ask a high fee for minimal or fictitious services. They scammed the couple for no less than 175,000 euro. He is facing another six months in jail.
The prosecutor finds it unbelievable that the Count took part in these crimes. “They set up a construction to get money from people while doing nothing. To set up this construction, they used the aura of nobility and the royal connections that hung around d’Udekem d’Acoz. They told victims that the Count could do more than any other lawyer. It’s unbelievable that someone of his standing went into business with someone he knew to be a scam artist. It is clear that the victims were misled by Count Henri’s noble title and were then kept hanging for the next three years.”
Nevertheless, the defence is acting for the Count to be acquitted. “My client was not aware of the other man’s actions. He has never seen him receive any money. Why would he even join in? He doesn’t need the money. The file hardly mentions any incriminating elements against my client, so I am confidently asking for an acquittal”, says Herman Baron, the Count’s lawyer.
Count Henri did not attend the court date in person, due to health reasons. The verdict is expected on 25 October.