The first lady of El Salvador and three of her sisters have filed suit against a fifth sister, a Miami jewelry designer and socialite, accusing her "of bilking the family estate" of $1 million.
The four sisters claim their sibling, Conchita Llach de Iraheta, raided a Bahamian family trust once worth $2.1 million and hired prostitutes for their father, coffee grower Prudencio Llach, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Llach, 79, died two months ago.Among the sisters bringing the suit is Margarita de Cristiani, the wife of Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani. Another sister is married to a general.
Iraheta and her attorney Steven Hibbe, who was also named in the suit, deny the allegations.
Iraheta told The Miami Herald her sisters were motivated by jealousy because she was her father's favorite and received "preferential treatment."
"I have had to painfully bear and practice self-control in order not to react to a series of slanderous accusations," she told the newspaper for its Saturday edition.
The sisters charge Iraheta with raiding the estate to "support her high lifestyle" and want to be paid back threefold.
Cristiani says in the suit Iraheta persuaded their father to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock in her jewelry business at "ridiculously high" prices to maintain her "lavish and socialite lifestyle."
Llach, who had suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1984, moved in with Iraheta in 1988 where the sisters say Iraheta "developed a confidential and dominant relationship" with their father.
The sisters also say Iraheta hired prostitutes to maintain "amorous relationships" with the ailing man.
"Indeed, even the defendant Hibbe's secretary was encouraged to have a sexual relationship with Mr. Llach," said the lawsuit, which was filed this month in Miami.
The sisters say Iraheta persuaded her father to amend the trust giving her exclusive access to it, while he was alive. The trust provisions also dictated that Iraheta would get the first $500,000 from the trust when her father died.
A month after Llach's death, the other sisters discovered there was only $470,000 left in the trust and that went to Iraheta, the suit says.