'Swiss Gigolo' Gets 6 Years in Blackmail Schemes

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2009 10:02 AM CDT
Defendant Helg Sgarbi arrives with his lawyers at a court in Munich today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Helg Sgarbi, the man European media nicknamed “the Swiss Gigolo,” was sentenced to 6 years in prison today after pleading guilty in German court to seducing and conning the BMW heiress who is Germany's richest woman, along with several others. Sgarbi apologized to his victims, none of whom were in court, for bilking them out of a combined $11 million, the BBC reports. Sgarbi would blackmail his victims, saying he had “compromising material” on them.

“I deeply regret what has happened and apologize to the aggrieved ladies,” Sgarbi said. The Swiss man’s most famous conquest was Susanne Klatten, a married BMW heiress who gave him $8.9 million he said he needed to pay off the family of a girl he’d hurt in a car accident. Later, he threatened to go public with a sex tape if she didn’t give him more.