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Sgarbi feigned astonished surprise - and barely three weeks later, according to the police, the couple made love for the first time at a hotel in the South of France, not far from the Klatten family's holiday villa. When she got back to Munich in late August, Klatten started to meet Sgarbi in a Holiday Inn in the city, going straight up to his sixth-floor room by lift from the underground car park to avoid being seen in the lobby. on what he called a 'secret mission' for the Swiss government, Sgarbi disappeared. While in Miami, Sgarbi told her, he'd accidentally knocked over the young daughter of a Mafia boss - leaving her severely injured, possibly even paralysed.And by the end of September, less than two months after their first meeting, Sgarbi unveiled the financial 'sting' that was to cost Klatten more than £6million. Worse, he explained, he was a dead man unless he paid the girl's father £9.2 million in compensation.Sgarbi told the increasingly bewitched heiress that he was the grandson of a Polish Jew, but had been taken to Rio de Janeiro by his family when he was five.He had then returned to Europe as a teenager to study law at the University of Zurich.Within just months, the reserved heiress had given Sgarbi a staggering £6.44 million in cash.The Lanserhof spa is the ideal location for a seduction.He reportedly helped Sgarbi plan his seduction and the blackmail that followed.
With a kiss on the cheek, Sgarbi told her he had to catch a plane to the U. and pay off the Mafia don at once - although he didn't explain how he was going to carry that amount of hard currency on a commercial airliner.
He said he had worked for the Credit Suisse bank, and had set up a translation agency because of his fluency in six languages. But then he added a layer of lies, honed during his years as a conman.
He told Klatten that he worked in 'mergers and acquisitions' and acted as an adviser and trouble-shooter for the Swiss government, which often sent him on 'secret' missions.
The very moment that Sgarbi spoke, as Mail journalist Richard Shears reveals in his new book about the affair, she felt comfortable with this well-spoken, clean-cut stranger.
What Susanne Klatten did not know, however, was that she had been specifically targeted by this smooth-talking, Zurich-born conman, a man who had already made a fortune as a professional gigolo and blackmailer, extorting more than £2.2million from a string of wealthy older women.