With its fanciful spires and dark brickwork, the Moller mansion is a Shanghai landmark, a gingerbread house set in an urban landscape. The building has hosted an eclectic collection of people through its 70-year history, ranging from the Swedish tycoon who built it to the Communist Youth League and newlyweds. But the greatest mystery surrounds the most recent guests. A team of 100 investigators has been despatched by the central government to probe the alleged mismanagement of Shanghai's pension fund. Local media are calling it the city's biggest scandal in decades. Shunning the opulence of Shanghai's five-star palaces and the state guesthouse once favoured by former president Jiang Zemin , the investigators have chosen the dark wood and high windows at No 30 Shaanxi Road South. It was converted to a hotel in 2002. A small sign at the building's closed iron gate says it has shut for renovations from August 6. A representative declined to confirm the presence of special guests. 'We're completely closed for interior repairs to the protected building. We won't open until at least the end of this year,' she said. Last week, security guards barred curious visitors from entering the grounds. But several black cars that were waved inside, and the police car parked outside, suggest more is going on than renovations. No construction workers were visible, either. Swedish businessman Eric Moller, dubbed the 'king of horse racing', commissioned the building of the house in 1927. There is a bronze statue of a racehorse in the garden, and the remains of his favourite horse are said to be buried under it. There is a legend that the house was designed after a castle that Moller's daughter saw in a dream. According to another tale, a fortune teller warned Moller he would have bad luck if he ever finished the house. As the story goes, the finishing details were put on the house in 1949 - the year that the local branch of the Communist Youth League took over the house. The legends and predictions are recounted by Tess Johnston in her book A Last Look: Western Architecture in Old Shanghai. While the authenticity of such tales is highly dubious, they helped to stoke its mysterious allure. The city made the villa a protected historic building in 1989, and later handed its management to state-owned tourism company Hengshan Group, which turned it into a boutique hotel. The setting and spacious grounds have proved popular for wedding banquets. 'The villa is like a fairy-tale castle,' one gushing bride said in comments posted on the internet. The rooms are priced at US$102 to US$905 (for a suite) - but the central government's investigation team has probably negotiated a group discount.