Back in 2005, BMW shocked the Formula One racing world by announcing it would leave its longtime partner Williams F1 in order to acquire its rival Sauber. But after four years of racing, the economy tanked and the coffers ran dry. BMW announced it would withdraw from the sport, leaving Sauber to look for a new investor.
A new investor was found, but reports now indicate that the deal could have been an elaborate fraud. The buyer was identified as Qadbak Investments, a mysterious Swiss firm that had recently acquired a football club in England and which was supposedly backed by wealthy Middle Eastern investors who preferred to keep a low profile. After an exhaustive chase of paper trails and dummy companies, it now appears that Qadbak is nothing but a front for one Russell King, a British national based in Dubai previously convicted of fraud.
According to the report, King was planning on using Sauber as a means to tap into the revenue sharing scheme in Formula One, worth tens of millions of euros.