November 4, 2008

As the Roundel Turns

Automotive news meets TMZ in Germany. A soap opera worthy plot involving one of the world's richest women, a seedy Swiss gigolo and his mafioso partner...Blackmail, movies, revenge, greed and, for good measure, nazis!

At 46, Suzanne Klatten, is the richest woman in Germany with a personal fortune estimates by Forbes at $13.2 Billon (or 7.8 billion depending on who's counting and when.). "Lady BMW" as some in the press have dubbed the daughter of Herbert Quantd, had an extramarital affair with a seedy Swiss, improbably named Helg Sgarbi (top right in the rogue's gallery below). Sgarbi and his partner film everything and blackmail Klatten who apparently paid 7.5 millon Euros for their silence. But then they got more greedy demanded 49 millon Euros and she turned them in.
Now there will be a public trial the notoriously private Quandt family must be dreading and that, with a suggestion that the whole plot was not greed but revenge for Nazi era slave labor (yeah...that's the ticket!) the world's media is sure to have field day!

There are a number of version of this story, the juiciest reading is certainly from the UK's Independent

"...The story of their incredible swindle, and how greed got the better of them, first emerged in Italy in June with Mr Barretta’s arrest. At the time the name of their alleged victim was kept out of the media. But now that she has been revealed as BMW heiress Susanne Klatten, the richest woman in Germany, the story has taken on a new dimension.

And not only because of the stratospheric wealth of Ms Klatten, and the hole the affair has punched in the privacy of one of Germany’s most discreet business dynasties. But also because Helg Sgarbi – if leaks from the interrogation of his partner are to be believed – was much more than just a staggeringly effective extortioner. He is also said to be a man bent on exacting revenge for the crimes of BMW against his father, a Polish Jew and, during the war, a slave labourer in a BMW factory. The group made munitions, aero engines and batteries for U-boats and V2 rockets. If it is true, as alleged, that Mr Sgarbi bedded Ms Klatten in posh hotels in Monte Carlo, Munich and elsewhere, he was sleeping with the enemy, with a cruel vendetta in mind..."


1 comment:

  1. Revenge??? Sgarbi has ripped off other women. As for his father being a slave labourer, has anyone checked if this is true? Even if it is, it's not an excuse-- Ms. Klatten was born over a decade after World War II ended. Unless she's a vicious anti-semite and/or Nazi supporter, she shouldn't have to pay for her ancestors' crimes in this manner. If he wanted compensation for his father's ordeal (it is moral and right to compensate former slave labourers) he should have done as others do and go through the courts (as did my family).
    Sgarbi is simply a con man with a convenient (and possibly fictional) pretext. What's his excuse for ripping off the other women before Ms.Klatten came along?


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