A small world? Nestlé heir leaves £3m disputes behind for Caribbean

Patrick Liotard-Vogt, the flame-haired owner of 'MySpace for millionaires', has left Switzerland, claiming he isn't in financial trouble.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 27 Jan 2014

It’s not unusual for the super-wealthy to hop on planes whenever they please, but Patrick Liotard-Vogt, the Nestlé heir and chairman and owner of ‘MySpace for millionaires’ ASmallWorld, seems to have absconded to the Caribbean, even though he has lawsuits worth millions of Swiss francs raging in his native Switzerland.
 
Liotard-Vogt, who has been photographed tossing his ginger curls with famous women including Beyoncé and Carey Mulligan, left for the island of St Kitts after a former business partner, a franchisee of the Diners’ Club credit card and a Swiss footballer filed claims against him totalling almost £3m, according to reports in the Swiss press.
 
The businessman, whose great-grandfather worked his way up to become chairman and chief executive of Swiss food giant Nestlé, reckons he had already planned to go to St Kitts to oversee a luxury property development there.
 
Asked by the Indy whether he was in financial difficulties, Liotard-Vogt quipped: ‘I can afford three hot meals a day… No financial difficulties in sight.'
 
ASmallWorld was formed as an exclusive social network back in 2004. It's best known for the time Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna once asked fellow members where he could find a club in London devoid of ‘trash and C-list wannabes’, which was then gloatingly revealed by the Daily Mail. It was relaunched last year as an ‘international members-only travel and social club’ - whatever that is.
 
Liotard-Vogt, who upped his stake in ASmallWorld by 35% to 80% in December, boasts that he bought a majority in the company from Hollywood baron Harvey Weinstein at a party in Cannes, according to the Independent.
 
‘I walked up to him and said, ‘"hey, I want to buy your shares in ASmallWorld", to which he responded, "you need to show up with a lot of money, which I don’t think you have". I laughed and said, "I think I have 10 times more than you do’.'’ It's classy stuff.

Of the three claims, the first is associated with former ASmallWorld chief exec Joe Robinson, who is pursuing Liotard-Vogt for 1.6m Swiss Francs after he was 'asked to leave' the website in 2010. The second  is to do with the Diners Club, which reckons he has racked up debts of 1.15m fr on his personal card (despite the fact that he co-owns the Diners Club franchise for Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg).

Finally, and most bizarrely, Swiss footballer David Degen was reported in the Swiss press to have claimed over 1.5m fr over a dispute relating to a property company owned by Liotard-Vogt, although the case seems to have been settled privately.
 
It’s almost as odd as when John McAfee, he of the eponymous anti-virus software, went on the run in the Belizean jungle after being accused of murdering his neighbour. But not quite.

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