The exclusive Swiss private bank Rothschild did employ the aristocratic financial adviser who lost a Novartis pharmaceuticals heiress $44m of her inheritance through disastrous investments, new court filings allege.
Corinna von Schonau claims Rothschild Bank bore responsibility for the fact that its aristocratic financial adviser, the Baron Wilfrid von Plotho, squandered her fortune on high risk investments that later proved worthless.
She claims he worked for the bank at the time, and that it should therefore compensate her for his disastrous financial advice and its failure to check on his investments.
While she successfully sued the Baron in a recent court case in Boston, Massachusetts, Rothschild successfully argued that he was not an agent of the bank at the time. While he was making his duff investments, he was in Massachusetts, “moonlighting” away from the bank, it argued.
But Ms von Schonau’s legal team has now filed what it claims is new evidence proving “Rothschild and von Plotho misled the court”. It urges the Boston court to overturn its previous decision.
As well as witness testimony, the new evidence includes the Baron’s Rothschild employment agreement at the time which Ms von Schonau’s team claims proves he was a bona fide bank employee, acting in Massachusetts in line with his job at the bank. Furthermore, the contract states explicitly that the Baron is banned from moonlighting without Rothschild’s permission
The millionairess’s lawyers also have obtained and filed as evidence” visit reports” prepared by Rothschild which they claim prove both that the bank was supervising the investments made from her accounts and that it even charged and collected fees for managing them.
Further new evidence, she claims, includes a regulatory filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission proving the baron was managing the Massachusetts investments in his capacity as a Rothschild agent.
Rothschild had, it claims, not made the evidence available at the time of the first court case despite having most of it in its possession and control.
Rothschild repeated a statement given before the legal filings, saying the previous case against it had been thrown out of court and lost on appeal. “We categorically reject the claims that have been made against Rothschild Bank AG,” it said.