The 44-year-old wined and dined a string of rich wives and widows, including Germany's wealthiest woman Mrs Klatten, winning their confidence and then asking for money. If they refused, he threatened to blackmail them with secretly filmed footage of their encounters in hotel rooms around Europe
Sgarbi, who was nicknamed 'James Bond' by some of his conquests for his good looks and smooth-talking charm, is also accused of conning three other women out of £2.2 million. Sgarbi, who told his wealthy conquests he was a "special Swiss representative in crisis zones" according to the charges against him, now faces the prospect of up to 10 years in prison.
At first the married mother-of-three spurned Sgarbi's advances but began an affair when the smooth-talking Sgarbi turned up unexpectedly in the south of France where she was on holiday the following month.
Later in August 2007 they met in a Holiday Inn hotel in Munich – where Klatten believed she would not run the risk of bumping into any acquaintances – for an "intimate" encounter that Sgarbi secretly filmed, according to the charges.