Steel

Prison sentence for Uli Hoeneß probably more and more likely

Summary

It is about many millions – but nobody had expected this amount: Right at the start of the spectacular tax process, Uli Hoeneß admitted that he had evaded over 18 million euros in taxes, not as he had accused him […]

Prison sentence for Uli Hoeneß probably more and more likely.  Uli Hoeneß with his wife Susi when leaving the court in Munich (source: dpa)

It is about many millions – but nobody had expected this amount: Right at the start of the spectacular tax process, Uli Hoeneß admitted that he had evaded over 18 million euros in taxes, not as he had accused him of 3.5 million euros. After this revelation, experts consider a prison sentence for the FC Bayern president to be more and more likely. The highlights of the first day of negotiations at a glance.

“Those are gigantic numbers. And that throws a really dark light on this voluntary disclosure ”, commented the chairman of the German tax union, Thomas Eigenhaler, about the sum mentioned by Hoeneß to the TV broadcaster N24. He added, “I now see a jail sentence at the end of the tunnel.”

The Munich economic expert and doctorate in law Manuel Theisen said that this is now a completely different dimension. “It’s not just about a narrowly flawed voluntary disclosure.” One must also consider whether there could have been other participants. “20 million euros. You can no longer imagine that it affects a man and an account, ”said Theisen on the sidelines of the process.

Tax criminal lawyer Arne Lißewski now expects further measures by the public prosecutor against Hoeneß. “It is possible that a supplementary charge will be raised by the public prosecutor,” said the Krefeld lawyer. “The public prosecutor’s office will endeavor to involve these 15 million in the process,” added Lißewski.

Unjustifiably asserted loss carryforwards

On the first of four days of trial before the Munich II regional court, public prosecutor Achim von Engel Hoeneß accused him of having withheld a little more than 33 million euros in capital gains, speculative profits and other income. He evaded around 3.5 million euros in taxes.

In addition, the accused had wrongly received loss carryforwards from private sales transactions in the amount of around 5.5 million euros, according to the indictment. The bottom line is that the taxable amount from capital gains can be suppressed.

But shortly thereafter, Hoeneß confessed to his testimony an amount that is around five times as high as the 3.5 million euros assumed by the public prosecutor’s office. “I am glad that everything is on the table now. I will do everything I can to bring this depressing event to an end, ”he said.

“I evaded taxes. I am aware that the voluntary disclosure does not change anything, ”said Hoeneß in front of the tough judge Rupert Heindl. “But I hoped to avoid prosecution with my self-disclosure.” In a dark suit and a wine-red tie, the makers of FC Bayern were especially remorseful in the presence of his wife Susi.

“I’m not a social parasite”

He also made sure to refer to his merits. “I’m not a social parasite,” he shouted. In recent years he has donated around five million euros for social causes and in the last ten years has paid more than 50 million euros in taxes in Germany.

In addition, Hoeneß reported on his gambling on the stock exchange. So he pushed around huge sums of money. According to Hoeneß, everything started harmlessly: In 1975, as a newly crowned soccer world champion, he opened his first bank account in Switzerland. With his wife Susi, who is following the proceedings within sight of her husband, he had built a friendship with an employee of Bank Vontobel.

“I gambled and was crazy”

Hoeneß bought and sold at Vontobel, day and night, mostly by phone and mostly in foreign currency: This is how the transactions can be summarized which, according to Judge Rupert Heindl, led to so many account movements that in the years 2003 to 2009 alone account statements were over 70,000 sheets Filled paper.

One day Hoeneß gambled away 18 million euros, the judge reported from the documents. “I gambled and was crazy,” Hoeneß himself described his actions. From 2006, however, luck turned: “It got really tight.” His friend, the former Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus, bailed him out with millions.

On the first day of the trial, the lack of documentation for Swiss transactions for a long time turned into an important point of controversy. “I had no overview. Ultimately, everything was a big mess, ”said Hoeneß.

In the afternoon, two tax officials gave testimony. Another tax investigator, now retired, who had helped Hoeneß with the preparation of his voluntary report, wanted to refuse to testify with reference to a possible administrative offense of which he would have to accuse himself. Although the court did not recognize the reason for refusal, Judge Heindl read an earlier testimony instead.

Self-disclosure as the crux of the matter

In view of the new enormous numbers, the situation for Hoeneß seems to be getting worse. The central question, however, remains when the football manager initiated his voluntary disclosure. It was initially disputed in court whether the magazine “Stern” had already published a preliminary report with his name at the time in question.

Hoeneß found it difficult to answer questions from Judge Rupert Heindls, and apparently deviated from the strategy of his lawyers when it came to the answers. “Mr. Hoeneß, now you get to the point,” snapped his experienced defense attorney Hanns Feigen, who also represented the former post manager Klaus Zumwinkel, who was convicted of tax evasion.

Court spokeswoman Andrea Titz did not want to comment specifically on the consequences of Hoeneß ‘spectacular confession after the end of the first day of the trial. “You have more damage, but he also made a confession about things that were not even known.” What that means for the duration of the process or even the sentence cannot yet be foreseen.

Tax evasion is liable to up to five years imprisonment, in particularly serious cases ten years. The process is scheduled to take four days. The verdict is expected on Thursday.