Swiss SCAM

White-Collar Con Men Inside Barclays Bank

Barclays bank headquarters in Canary Wharf, east London seen in this August 30, 2012 file photo. New Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley is considering selling some or all of the British bank's African operations as part of his strategic review, the Financial Times said on December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/Files
A bank scan was carried out from Barclays bank branches both in London and in Italy. Could the British bank be liable?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A Swiss-Italian businessman seems to have used Barclays branches to lure German businessmen into fraudulent investments. Questions are being asked as to what the bank knew.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • A Swiss businessman stands accused of embezzling nearly €30 million from German businesspeople, who were lured into an investment scheme with promises of ultra-high returns.
    • The dubious deals were finalized and signed inside Barclays Bank branches in more than one European country, a connection which initially reassured investors that all was above board.
    • Mr. Giancola is in pre-trial custody in Switzerland. Barclays has refused to comment on anything related to the case.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

 

How does it feel to realize you’ve been conned out of €1.8 million, or $2 million? Günther Steinberger (name changed to protect his privacy) does recall one thing: He didn’t want to believe it until it was all too late.

“For a full year, I was certain I had done a deal with Barclays Bank,” he said. That was guaranteed by the broker of the deal. On paper at least.

Antonio Giancola was the man who tempted the German millionaire into this apparent “dream deal.” Mr. Giancola is Swiss, 37 years old and a football scout. Or so he claims.

Financial advice, says his homepage, is just an occasional interest. But he held out a deal which was close to irresistible for many millionaires: up to 36 percent returns every six months.

According to research carried out by Handelsblatt, Mr. Giancola attracted some €30 million in this way. More than two dozen investors fell for the trick.

Almost none of that money is left.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.