Susanne Klatten, an heiress to the BMW-owning Quandt family's fortune, has been spared humiliation in a German court after the man who seduced her confessed to extortion.
Helg Sgarbi, a Swiss national, has been jailed for six years after he admitted blackmailing Klatten (pictured). The former banker also seduced a number of other wealthy European women claiming he was a secret agent working for the Swiss government.
Although he said he apologised in public "to all the wronged ladies," he refused to reveal where the €9 million that he had extorted out of the women was stored.
Klatten met Sgarbi at a luxury spa in Austria in 2007. "He was charming, attentive … that stirred a feeling in me that we had something in common," she said in her testimony to the police.
They began an affair and Klatten agreed to lend him €7.5 million to help him pay off the mafia after he convinced her that he had killed "a mafia princess". They were demanding €10 million from him which he could not afford.
Klatten only broke off the relationship when Sgarbi urged her to leave her husband and put €290 million into a trust fund so they could begin a new life together.
The 44-year-old began blackmailing her, forcing Klatten to confess to her husband who went to the police. Sgarbi was arrested when he went to pick up a further €14 million she had "agreed" to pay him.
However, Sgarbi's confession meant that the more colourful details of their affair, including CDs containing compromising photos, were not given a public airing in court.
Conserving family wealth: family offices adapting to a new age
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