The case of Mario Staggl

As the owner of the Vaduz High Society Bar Esquire, Mario Staggl was connected, not just within the fiduciary sector, but with the who-is-who of influential people in Liechtenstein and Switzerland as well. Without question, he is one of the most dazzling personalities among Liechtenstein trustees. But how could a trustee afford such a luxury lifestyle?

The answer is embezzlement. For years, Mario Staggl misappropriated the trust assets for his private lifestyle. Initially, he transferred money of the funds entrusted to him to his own bank account, later paying his private bills directly from the trust accounts: approximately 262.000, 00 Swiss francs for a new Bentley, school fees for his children, catering for parties or the maintenance costs for his properties in Dubai, Portugal and Montafon. Most disturbing, a deceased client’s signature was forged on an official bank document. [1]

He is said to have inflicted losses of 15 to 20 million euros on his own clients through the crimes of embezzlement, and fraud[2]. Mario Staggl, too, did not use the trust company New Haven in Schaan, Liechtenstein, but also Salamander Treuhand[3] in Zurich to deliberately harm his clients.

Staggl is also well known to the Swiss judiciary since he was the central figure in the scandal involving the major bank UBS (Birkenfeld) and was even wanted by the US officials as part of an ongoing investigation. Despite being on an FBI wanted list, Mario Staggl was still practicing as a trustee in Zurich and Liechtenstein. After the latest scandal broke, he lost his licenses and has in the meantime been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.[4]


[2] Status 03/16/2020

[3] Status 03/16/2020