Daniel Mazeas hanged himself at his home, under the stairs, on September 3, 2015. This 65-year-old widower, ravaged by cancer and loneliness, left neither obituary nor will other than the one bequeathing his property to his late wife. During his funeral, only two deputy mayors of Servilly, his village in Allier, attended the sober burial. The story could end here; but this is where another affair begins.
A few months later, in the heart of winter, a Parisian lawyer and a notary from Saône-et-Loire, visibly in a hurry, come to the bailiff in charge of the estate. They are accompanied by their salt-and-pepper-haired driver, who waits behind the wheel, parked below. They decipher a paper: here is the will that Daniel Mazeas would have written, three days before killing himself. It indicates as universal legatee a “old friend”, Lebanese septuagenarian residing in London in the chic district of Chelsea. She has the house in Servilly, as well as an apartment in Vichy and the parking space in Roissy (Seine-Saint-Denis) belonging to this dead man with no close friend or descendants.
The visitors leave under the suspicious eye of the usher. He is cautious: he has noticed that the handwriting of the will brought by these curious escorts is not that of the deceased. He immediately contacted the prosecutor of Cusset (Allier).
The investigation will last seven years. She will bring to light a team of professionals mobilized by the same mission: to invent descendants to divert inheritances. A notary, a lawyer, an Ehpad manager, a genealogist, an undertaker… Between 2011 and 2015, they recovered more than 6 million euros over a dozen “doubtful inheritance”, before being unmasked thanks to the Mazeas affair. They appear, among nine defendants, this Monday, March 27 before the correctional court of Cusset, in particular for “fraud” and “concealment in organized gang”.
Expensive cute sins
The scene at the usher of Servilly is misleading. The gray-haired driver is not just an extra: he is Jean-Louis Magnin, considered the mastermind of the affair. THE ” common denominator “ fraud, according to the expression of the investigating magistrates.
Magnin was a notary until he was struck off the order after a conviction in 2004 for “abuse of weakness”. This enterprising man, described as sympathetic but also tempestuous, likes to say he is constantly short of money while he counts several costly indulgences – beautiful cars, exotic travels and, above all, race horses. According to the psychological expertise added to the investigation file, he has a personality prone to “ideas of grandeur” and at the “narcissistic overvaluation”. To carry out the large-scale scam attributed to him – brought to light by handwriting analysis – he recruits accomplices among his long-time friends and professional acquaintances.
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