Eccentric celebrity-mad multi-millionaire Richard Lugner was conned out of 150,000 GBP by fraudster claiming to be Halle Berry’s manager, a court has heard.
Tycoon Lugner – infamous for inviting celebs to Austria’s annual Vienna Opera Ball – had been negotiating with the conwoman to bring the Hollywood actress to the city as his guest at the event.
Shadi Bahceli admitted to a court in Emmendingen, Germany, that she’d pretended to be Berry’s local agent working for the star’s office in New York.
After pocketing the fee, she disappeared when Berry failed to show up at the event in 2011.
Lugner had to quickly book former Italian prime minister Berlusconi’s bunga-bunga party girl Karima El Mahroug, otherwise known as Ruby Heartstealer.
A second appearance, booked for the following year, also failed to happen, judges heard.
Bahcelli – who apologised for the con – was given a two year suspended jail sentence and ordered to do 400 hours of community service.
Self-made multi-millionaire Lugner’s previous guests have included the Duchess of York, Grace Jones, Dita Von Teese, Andie MacDowell and Sophia Loren.
Ball organisers have accused him of cheapening the high society event with B-list celebrities.