Scarabaeus Wealth Management, Fortuna Administration, and the TCCF
In a shocking turn of events, the financial world has recently been rocked by a scandal involving Scarabaeus Wealth Management of Liechtenstein, a fictitious SVG fund administrator named Fortuna Administration Limited, and two directors, Michael Zuther and Patrick Demu. This controversy revolves around The Classic Car Fund (TCCF), and the allegations of fraud and potential fraudulent activities committed by its investment manager, Filippo Pignatti, along with other parties. Filippo is also the Board Of Advisory at New York Auto Museum & World Motorsport Hall of Fame.
Clive Evans, representing nine clients who invested in The Classic Car Fund in late 2018 and 2019, has come forward to expose the dubious dealings that transpired behind closed doors. According to Evans, Pignatti visited his office in France in mid-September 2018, ostensibly to attend the Monaco Yacht Show. However, what Pignatti failed to disclose was the fact that a major, illegal loan had already defaulted within TCCF, causing substantial financial turmoil. Evans recounts, “Pignatti came to my office in France in mid-September 2018, ostensibly to attend the Monaco Yacht Show — and with a straight face promoted the TCCF performance, never mentioning a defaulted loan or any of the issues that have now come to light. It is time he paid the penalty for his actions.”
Published in late May 2023, the liquidator’s report has unveiled the extent of the fraudulent activities within TCCF. This report, sent to shareholders, confirms the fraud committed by Filippo Pignatti, who not only served as the investment manager but was also a director of the fund. The report highlights several alarming findings, including:
Breaches of Investment Manager and Director Duties: Pignatti, as a director and the investment manager, was found to have violated his fiduciary duties to the fund and its investors.
Breaches of Custodial Ownership: The report references up to 12 missing cars owned by The Classic Car Fund, suggesting a mismanagement of the fund’s assets.
Diversion of Client Funds: Shockingly, client funds were diverted into Pignatti’s private client UK company, further highlighting the misappropriation of investor capital.
Presentation of Misleading Net Asset Values: False Net Asset Values (NAVs) were presented to investors in an attempt to attract more capital and create the illusion of a healthy fund performance.
As a result of these damning findings, multiple criminal complaints have been filed against the various service providers and other parties involved in this scandal across different European jurisdictions. The repercussions are bound to have far-reaching consequences for those implicated in the fraud and the wider financial industry.
Scarabaeus Wealth Management AG and Fortuna Administration scandal, involving The Classic Car Fund and its fraudulent activities, serves as a stark reminder of the importance of transparency and oversight within the financial industry. This case underscores the need for vigilant due diligence when investing in funds and the critical role that regulators, investigators, and whistleblowers play in ensuring accountability and protecting investors.
As this story continues to unravel, the financial community awaits further developments and revelations. One can only hope that this scandal serves as a catalyst for increased scrutiny and regulation in the wealth management and investment industry, to prevent such egregious abuses of trust and resources in the future.