The Millionaire Who Wanted To Be Buried With His Bentley (Wasn't What He Seemed)

The Millionaire Who Wanted To Be Buried With His Bentley (Wasn't What He Seemed)

Chiquinho Scarpa came from a rich Italian family. His father became a count in 1949, and Chiquinho claimed the title for himself, despite now living in Brazil. Some sources call him a millionaire; others, a billionaire. He grew the family fortune through mining, alcohol, and finally by opening a successful investment firm. 

In 2009, he had some cosmetic surgery to hide his bulging tummy. Surgery always involves risk, and Scarpa came down with a serious infection, one that left him in a coma for months. A couple years later, his mother died, also from an infection. Newly aware of mortality, Scarpa said he'd had a revelation and now realized what was really important: He wanted to be buried in a fabulous grave, like the pharaohs of old.

Scarpa announced that he was building his own tomb on his 4-acre property, and he would start by burying his $500,000 Bentley. The announcement started with a goofy photo of the man holding a shovel, but then came major digging vehicles, really excavating a hole big enough for his car. Some speculated that he was burying his luxury car to avoid taxes, and while we don't exactly follow the logic there, the official story up to this point made even less sense. 

He said he'd put the car into the ground on September 20, 2013, and he invited the media to come watch. When that day came, Count Scarpla took a mic and said, "Yes, burying my Bentley with me when I die would be absurd. But most people are buried with something even more valuable. I'm talking about working human organs." And then he summoned his henchmen, to cut organs from the assembled victims.

Sorry, that last line was just what we imagined he might do. Scarpa was instead urging the public to become organ donors. This had all been a publicity stunt, and it was a very effective one, as donor numbers in Brazil jumped 30% in the next month, surely saving lives. It had also been a great stunt for boosting Scarpa's reputation, after temporarily torching it. We can find no evidence of specific earlier scandals that he wanted to cover up, but that just shows how effective the cover-up was. 

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