Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Xavier Dupont de Ligonn&es: Family Murdered, Father Vanishes

Ambition and Failure

The move to Nantes coincided with a change in Xavier's professional ambitions. After moving to Nantes along France's western coast, the birthplace of Jules Vernes, Xavier stopped working at low-skill jobs and started a business. Xavier created SELREF, a company that audited the quality of services that different hotels offered business travelers. The idea was that businesses that held off-site seminars or sent executives to different hotels in France needed unbiased reviews of the locations beforehand. Posing as a guest, Xavier would travel to different French hotels and report back to his clients.

According to statistics from the French National Commerce and Business Register (Registre National du Commerce et des Sociétés), SELREF had its ups and downs revenue-wise. The company generated 86,200 euros in revenues in 2007 but that relatively good year compared to a paltry 6,000 euros the company saw in sales in 2005.

No longer working low-level jobs as a sales clerk or collecting unemployment, Xavier was now his own boss and had established a small business that was making modest revenues. The problem was that SELREF never made a dime in profits. It had also accumulated a lot of debts, with creditors who soon began knocking on the door of the family house, often with court orders demanding tens of thousands of euros.

Agnes held down a couple of jobs while the family lived at Nantes, but the pay was far from enough to sustain the household's bourgeois lifestyle and expenditures on clothes, cars, and private schools. For a while, Agnes was a babysitter and then worked as a school assistant at the Blanche de Castille, a private school near their house in Nantes. She had also inherited 80,000 euros, according to Le Point, but that disappeared into Xavier's business affairs. All told, Xavier and his wife declared 5,351 euros in 2009 and 17,658 euros in 2010, according to Le Point. Xavier's business was just not generating enough for the family to even subsist on, much less pay for the comforts of a French, upper-middleclass lifestyle.

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