Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jean-Claude Baumgartner: Dragons' Den 'conman blew £230,000 of investors' money on life of luxury instead of satnav for skiers'

A Dragons' Den 'conman' allegedly blew £230,000 on living a life of luxury instead of his satnav for skiers product that wowed the show's judges.

Jean-Claude Baumgartner, 50, is charged with duping Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis into handing over the money as an investment - then spending it on himself.

The Swiss-born businessman, who is understood to be in Germany, was due to appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday but claimed he was snowed in.

The hearing was adjourned until today but he contacted his solicitors overnight to say his bank cards were not working and could not purchase a flight from Cologne.

Prosecutor Mark James-Dawson said: 'Your Honour will see that he is not here.

'A text message was sent this morning saying he had texted his solicitors at half past two and four o'clock, saying his bank cards had failed so he could not travel.

'My application will be for a warrant not backed for bail.

'He wasn't here on Monday. He said his flight had been cancelled.'

The lawyer said Baumgartner, who is on unconditional bail, has family in Germany and Switzerland. Read More