IT must go down as one of the worst dates in history.
What was hoped to be the romantic union of two lonely souls has turned into a vicious legal spat, with both parties denouncing the other for theft.
Former Japanese model Nan Itakura and French oil expert Charles Miriel had their first date in Sotogrande, in March, after meeting each other via dating website millionairematch.com.
They initially hit it off with Itakura, 44, moving with her 11-year-old son from Japan into the 67-year-old Frenchman’s Sotogrande home.
But within just three months the pair have fallen out so spectacularly that they have now both filed police reports accusing each other of theft.
It comes after marketing company boss Itakura, who claims to be a self-made millionaire, stumped up €288,000 to invest in the Frenchman’s ‘pollution reducing’ fuel company.
Based out of Spain, he insisted the business, which he first launched in the UK, would be a surefire winner.
Becoming an equal partner, Miriel would run the Gibraltar side of the business, while Itakura would operate from Spain.
However, this is when things turned sour.
For, while Itakura, expected to see a serious cash injection into the business, instead, she claims, he frittered the money on a €35,000 watch and two Range Rovers.
However Miriel denies this and has shown the Olive Press receipts for the cars which are dated before Itakura transferred him any money.
However, Itakura stands by her claim that she was merely a method for the Frenchman to get rich quick.
“This man completely tricked me,” she said, after denouncing him to San Roque police for fraud.
“Coming from Asia, where the air is so polluted, I thought his green energy plan was something I could invest in to help other people.
“It was my dream opportunity, but nothing stacked up.
“I am now hoping police and my lawyers can help get my money back.”
Miriel – whose company, Eurofuel Products, launched in the UK in 1997 – is adamant that his formula, which ‘reduces emissions by 98%’, is completely legitimate.
In fact, the California Air Resources Board reviewed the product in 2002 and found that emissions from Miriel’s formula ‘are at least 25% lower than any applicable diesel vehicle emission standard’.
He claims that developments to the product now mean emissions are reduced by as much as 98%.
He has now filed a counter-denuncia claiming Itakura broke the terms of their contract drawn up in Spain and has attempted to steal the formula for herself.
“I fulfilled my part in the deal,” he told the Olive Press last night, denying that the cars and watch were bought with Itakura’s money.
“I invited Nan to Spain to be my partner, things were going well but she went behind my back to make millions without me.
“I am not a crook and I don’t like to be accused of being one.”