Netflix’s latest true crime documentary series, Gunther’s Millions, introduces a new kind of crook, the dog crook. This follows the story of Gunther, a German hepherd who lives a luxurious life as “the richest dog in the world”. Through his four episodes, the series reveals the truth behind Gunther’s fortune, including a complex tax system, a pharmaceutical company, and a fake German countess.
Gunther’s Millions The dog at the center of the story is described as being owned by Maurizio Mian, a descendant of a wealthy Italian family. For years, Mian claimed that Gunther was once the pet of a German countess named Carlotta Liebenstein, who was a close family friend of her mother, Gabriela Gentili. When she died in 1998, she named the dog as the sole beneficiary of the trust and asked Gentili to oversee the dog’s care.
According to Italian journalist Massimo Marini, Liebenstein left Gunther with 138 billion Italian lira (currently worth about $77.5 million). However, Gunther’s net worth soon grew to over 400 million euros (about $434 million) and possibly more.
Mian herself admits that she made up the story of the Countess, so it is difficult to determine whether the number is actually high. I will explain that there is. A character loosely inspired by a German woman who was friends with her mother.
The Countess was invented as part of a tax evasion scheme. As Mian explains, all the money in Gunther’s trust actually belongs to his family, not the Countess. and sold it to Merk & Co., bringing a fortune to the family. But Gentili didn’t want to pay Italy’s high taxes on his wealth, so he put the money into LGT Bank in Liechtenstein, known as “one of the most secret places in the world,” according to ABC News. rice field.
It is illegal to evade taxes in this way, so Gentili covered his tracks by creating an account under the name Carlotta Liebenstein. The idea of using dogs to return money to families came after learning that dogs could be designated as beneficiaries of a trust. They found a lawyer in the Bahamas who was willing to make arrangements without asking too many questions, so the plan was born. The money flowed from Gentili to the Liechtenstein Bank, to the “Countess”, Günther, and Mian’s family.
Gentili passed away in 2011, and much of the series explores how Mian coped with her death and his own bouts of depression. Today the Trust benefits her sixth ‘Gunther’. The Gunther family are all descendants of the original dog, and Mian is still responsible for allocating the wealth of the German her Shepherd.