Liliane Bettencourt of France is back in the seat of richest woman in the world, and is also the 11th richest person on the Forbes list. Her fortune slipped $4 billion in the past year as shares of L’Oreal fell. But the heiress was not just a victim of the markets. According to a French court, eight people, including several former wealth managers and celebrity photographer François-Marie Banier, were found guilty in May 2015 of conning the 93-year-old Parisian out of millions of euros. Banier was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay Bettencourt $172 million in damages. The court will hear his appeal in May 2016. Bettencourt and her family are worth $36.1 billion.
Alice Walton is the second richest woman in the world with $32.3 billion to her name. Her net worth is down $7.1 billion from last year due to a drop in the price of Wal-Mart stock. Walton, unlike her brothers Rob and Jim, is not actively involved in running the mega superstore chain her father Sam Walton founded in 1962. But she still shares in the wealth reaped by Wal-Mart. Instead, Alice focuses on collecting art and making political donations, including $25,000 to a super-PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Jacqueline Mars, the third richest woman in the world, is worth $23.4 billion, down $3.2 billion this year. Mars and her brothers inherited pet food and candy maker Mars in 1999 after their father’s death. None of them play an active role in the company, which has $33 billion in annual revenue.