Two of the biggest stars of the entrepreneurial BBC show Dragons’ Den have lost out after handing over an investment of £230,000 to an alleged conman who blew the lot on his own extravagant lifestyle.
Jean-Claude Baumgartner, 50, faces charges of duping Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones out of the £230,000 they gave him for investment in his satnav for skiers creation.
Mr Baumgartner was supposed to appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday, but is reportedly snowed in and unable to fly back from Germany.
The prosecution claim that Mr Baumgartner first lied to the Dragons when he stated that his company Satsports owned the software rights for the device, retailing at £329.
Back in 2010, he presented the ‘Satski’ on the BBC’s Sports Relief special. As a result of this appearance, he came to the attention of the two Dragons and ended up accepting a £130,000 investment for 49 per cent of his company.
According to This is Money, he is now accused of receiving another £100,000 from the pair after showing them fake documents and lying about his ongoing success.
Defending Mr Baumgartner, Rebecca Trowler said: “The GPS device has already won prizes at the Gadget Show, before Mr Baumgartner had anything to do with Dragons’ Den.
“It was a business well on its way before he had anything to do with the Dragons. He was invited onto Dragons’ Den by the BBC,” the publication reports.
Mark James-Dawson, prosecuting, countered: “There is a serious amount of professionally planned dishonesty from the start and throughout, with the investors’ money.”
Mr Baumgartner denies two counts of fraud.
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