Tuesday, 7 March 2017

German chain store tycoon Schlecker in fraud trial with family

A former giant of German retail - Anton Schlecker - has gone on trial with his wife and two children over the collapse of his pharmacy chain, which once employed some 50,000 people.

Mr Schlecker is accused of offences relating to the 2012 bankruptcy, and his family allegedly helped him. His shops sold personal hygiene goods and household articles.

"The accusations are unfounded," he objected, via his lawyer in Stuttgart.

He could get up to 10 years in jail.

Schlecker store in Berlin, 8 Jun 2012

In Germany about 25,000 Schlecker staff lost their jobs, as did a similar number elsewhere in Europe, after the business filed for bankruptcy.
According to Stuttgart prosecutors, Mr Schlecker knew that bankruptcy was looming and siphoned off more than €20m (£17m; $21m) in assets, which would otherwise have gone to creditors.

He is accused of having made false statements about the company's financial situation.

Mr Schlecker's lawyer argues that his client did not imagine that the business was facing collapse.

Anton Schlecker's wife Christa (L), son Lars (C) and daughter Meike (R)
 wife Christa (L), son Lars (C) and daughter Meike (R)

The indictment includes the charges that Mr Schlecker spent €1m on a home renovation for his son Lars, a holiday for the children that cost tens of thousands of euros, and €800,000 in gifts for four grandchildren.

Lars and his sister Meike ran a logistics firm, LDG, which allegedly became a conduit for some of the Schlecker company assets.

His wife Christa is accused of having received tens of thousands of euros disguised as consultancy fees.

BBC     News.