Search

Ham&High joins international search for conman

PUBLISHED: 11:44 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:37 07 September 2010

Pamela Shutzmann with Mogens Hauschildt

Pamela Shutzmann with Mogens Hauschildt

THE hunt for a convicted conman, who swindled a Hampstead widow out of her home and savings has been hindered by French police, their British counterparts have claimed. Mogens Hauschildt, 68, is on the run and believed to be hiding in the s

Ben McPartland

THE hunt for a convicted conman, who swindled a Hampstead widow out of her home and savings has been hindered by French police, their British counterparts have claimed.

Mogens Hauschildt, 68, is on the run and believed to be hiding in the south of France with around £1million belonging to Pamela Schutzmann, an 87-year-old blind woman from Finchley Road.

Danish-born Hauschildt, who befriended Ms Schutzmann and became her financial adviser, was convicted in his absence by a jury last year after going on the run before his trial started.

He is believed to have headed for the French Riviera where he has a £2million home in the small town of La Turbie, between Nice and the Italian border.

Although a European wide arrest warrant has been issued for Hauschildt, the British detective who investigated the fraudster has become frustrated at the lack of co-operation from his colleagues in the Gendarmerie.

Det Con Mark Loftus said: "We submitted the warrant to various forces across Europe, who then have the responsibility to act on the information. When we wrote to the French authorities to do various things for us that we needed for the investigation it took them a year to get back to us. That is the kind of frustration we are dealing with.

"Only about six months ago I received an email from a woman from France whose friend had lost €500,000 to this man. The victim is having enormous difficulties because they do not seem to be taking her case seriously.

"It is very difficult when I do not have co-operation from overseas. As a police officer, for me to go over there I have to receive a formal invitation from the French but I have never received one."

Hauschildt was introduced to Ms Schutzmann, who has one son Vivian, 61, through his former girlfriend Romana Labunski, who had worked for her as an au-pair. Posing as her financial adviser and often taking advantage of her blindness, he forged signatures so he could transfer her £500,000 home to his Panama-based company Spazi Properties. He then remortgaged it with Bank of Scotland.

He also raided her bank accounts of all her savings and even stole jewellery given to her by her late husband. She was left almost penniless. He was convicted of several counts of fraud, deception and forgery.

Hauschildt has been spotted in the town of Bordighera on the Italian Riviera and is believed to spend most of his time either in Switzerland or on the wealthy Cote D'Azur. It is also believed he is claiming a pension in Denmark and with Hauschildt seemingly targeting more victims, the race is on to put him behind bars before other vulnerable women are left out of house and home.

DC Loftus said: "If anyone spots him or knows where he is they should call the police. We don't know what he is doing but we are sure he will be doing the same thing to someone else.

"If we can track him down then we can begin to confiscate his assets. We want to see justice for Ms Schutzmann, I really feel for her."

Last week Ms Schutzmann said she wants to see justice done before she dies.

The Ham&High is helping in the search and has forwarded an article and pictures of the conman to two English language newspapers - The French Paper and the Riviera Times - which are published in France.

We have also translated last week's front page story into French and passed it on to the newspaper Nice Matin, in the hope they too will print it.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express