Four men from the Braunschweig region have to pay high cash requirements because of illegal insider trading in shares in the Gerry Weber fashion group. The highest amount of two million euros has to be paid by a 69-year-old custodian as the main beneficiary, as announced by the Braunschweig public prosecutor. First of all, the “Westfalen-Blatt” published in Bielefeld reported on Wednesday about the illegal share transactions. According to “Wirtschaftswoche”, the 69-year-old is said to be Friedrich Knapp, the managing director of the Braunschweig-based fashion chain “New Yorker”. According to the rich list of the US magazine “Forbes”, Knapp is a billionaire.
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin) had been investigating suspicious transactions in connection with an application for bankruptcy in January 2019, the public prosecutor said. After the publication, the price initially fell and was later suspended from trading. The accused were suspected of the unauthorized use or disclosure of information about the impending failure of financing negotiations and the pending bankruptcy petition.
The accused have to pay monetary requirements of up to two million euros
Two men are said to have sold shares in time to avoid price losses. According to the public prosecutor’s office, this is the account holder himself and a 71-year-old agent.
Two 28-year-olds are said to have tried to profit from betting on falling values. During searches in August 2019, investigators found numerous pieces of evidence, especially data carriers.
Depending on the severity of the allegations, the accused have to pay amounts between two million euros and 5,000 euros. If the money flows by May 2021, the proceedings will be discontinued and the accused are not considered to have a criminal record, as the public prosecutor further announced.
The insolvency proceedings at Gerry Weber in Halle (Westphalia) were completed at the end of 2019. The number of shops has been significantly reduced and the number of employees has shrunk. Most recently, the company announced in November that it had just returned to profitability after the austerity program.
dpa / cm