From gigolo to jailbird – a Swiss man who admitted seducing and blackmailing Germany’s richest woman has been jailed for six years. Former banker Helg Sgarbi told a court in Munich he regretted duping BMW heiress Susanne Klatten, as well as three other wealthy women. Dubbed the “Swiss gigolo,” Sgarbi persuaded his victims to pay him almost 10 million euros.
Defence lawyer Egon Geis said: “I’m happy with the verdict. They could’ve sentenced him to 12 years, or even 15. So I am happy.” Sgarbi had demanded a further 49 million euros from Klatten, threatening to release a video of them having sex. Prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch said: “There’s no such thing as satisfaction for us. There’s no victory. It’s the verdict of a court. We will look at the verdicts in detail and will decide then if we will ask for an appeal.” Prosecutors say Sgarbi convinced his victims to hand over money with various sob stories that turned out to be false; these included claims that he had fallen foul of the mafia, or that he had to pay compensation for a child hurt in a road crash. Klatten’s name became public when she went to the police. The other victims’ identities remain secret. An alleged accomplice of Sgarbi has also been arrested, tracked down to a house on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.