Rich Swiss youth burns Ferrari in fraud attempt

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Caroline Bishop - [email protected]
Rich Swiss youth burns Ferrari in fraud attempt
Photo: Alistair Paterson

A German court has put the son of a Swiss millionaire on probation after he set fire to his Ferrari so that he could get another luxury vehicle on his insurance.


The 20-year-old and his three accomplices, all aged between 20 and 30, appeared on Wednesday before a tribunal in Augsburg, Germany, where the incident took place in March last year, reported Swiss daily 20 Minutes on Thursday.

The court heard that the man, the son of a Zurich-based businessman, became unhappy with his 240,000-franc ($244,500) Ferrari 458 Italia and wanted to upgrade to a newer model.

Finding that his car was only valued at 190,000 francs ($193,500), he was advised by a car dealer to commit insurance fraud.

The dealer came up with the idea to set fire to the car and recruited an accomplice from his garage to help, reported 20 Minutes.

In order to deflect attention, they decided to carry out their operation in Augsburg, Bavaria.  

Leaving the car in an industrial area, the young Swiss owner and a friend went to a massage parlour  in order to establish an alibi while two others set light to the car, which eventually exploded.

Each accomplice received 15,000 francs for their help, said the paper.

Security cameras and telephone records quickly led police to the Swiss quartet, who were arrested in Switzerland and brought to Augsburg.

The Ferrari owner was placed in custody but quickly left again after paying his 200,000 euro (215,000 franc, $219,000) bail.

At his trial, the young man said he received between 5,000 and 10,000 francs a month from his father, said 20 Minutes.

He also owned several properties totalling 27 million francs and 15 cars including a Lamborghini, all paid for by his father.

But at the time of the incident his accounts had run dry, he told the court.

He couldn’t find the courage to tell his father that he no longer liked his Ferrari.  

The judge sentenced the man to 22 months probation and a fine of 30,000 euros (32,000 francs). His three accomplices received probations of 14 to 16 months each.


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