A gang of pensioners aged between 60 and 79 kidnapped and tortured their financial adviser because he "had taken us for a ride", a German court heard this week.
Four German seniors and an accomplice are on trial for the abduction and imprisonment of 56-year-old American-born investment adviser James Amburn in June last year.
According to prosecutors, the group hoped to force Amburn to repay €2.5m (£2.2m) they had collectively lost in their investments in the US property market.
The court heard Amburn was ambushed outside his home in Speyer, west Germany, where he was bound with masking tape and bundled into the boot of a car after being hit over the head with the walking frame of one of his kidnappers.
He was driven 300 miles to a house on the shores of Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria and, after escaping and being recaptured, was tortured for four days.
He was freed by an armed police unit when he managed to send a coded message to his Swiss bank requesting help.
One of the charged, Roland Koenig, 74, told the court he and the others, including his 79-year-old wife Sieglinde, had met Amburn in Florida in the 1990's and they possessed holiday homes in the state.
"He said he was a business adviser and promised us yields of 18% on our savings," Koenig told the court. "At first that happened - but then he took the p**s."
Amburn's captors face a minimum of five years in jail each if found guilty when the trial concludes in March.
Their lawyer Harald Baumgaertl insisted before the court his clients were not "big criminals".
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