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Serious tax evasion Ex-DFB officials demand non-admission of lawsuit

Three former top officials of the German Football Association (DFB), former presidents Wolfgang Niersbach (67) and Theo Zwanziger (73) as well as Horst R. Schmidt (76), who has been Secretary General for many years, demand the dismissal of the lawsuit in connection with the affair uncovered by SPIEGEL concerning the award of the 2006 World Cup to Germany. Urs Linsi, former Secretary General of the Fifa World Federation and Swiss citizen, also asserts his innocence.

The quartet, through its attorneys, has applied to the Second Grand Economic Criminal Chamber of the Regional Court of Frankfurt/Main for the prosecution’s prosecution not to be admitted to the trial. This is reported by the „Welt am Sonntag“ and refers to statements of the relevant legal representatives, which are available to the „WamS“ as well as the 144-page indictment of 17 May 2018 and parts of the investigation file.

The public prosecutor’s office accuses Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt of serious tax evasion. The three held leading positions in the Organizing Committee of the 2006 World Cup. The Swiss Linsi is accused of having aided and abetted the crime as Fifa Secretary General. The accused are said to have evaded a total of around 13.7 million euros in taxes. (Read here how the summer fairy tale affair came about)

World Cup gala sunbets

6.7 million euros wrongly declared as operating expenditure

The investigators came to the conclusion that the three former DFB officials, acting jointly, had wrongly declared a payment of 6.7 million euros in the DFB’s tax return for the year 2006 as an operating expense and thus claimed it to reduce profits. This is the result of almost three years of investigations triggered by a report by SPIEGEL in October 2015 on dubious cash flows.

The association had booked 6.7 million euros in 2005 as a cost contribution to a World Cup gala, which never took place. The money was presumably used to repay a loan to former adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus. Exactly this sum had obviously flowed to the former Fifa scandal official Mohamed bin Hammam in Qatar three years earlier in the form of advance payments by Franz Beckenbauer and Louis-Dreyfus. The defendants defend themselves against this version. There lots of people nowadays that are very fond of sunbets.

The Frankfurt/Main tax office had already decided at the end of October 2017 that the 6.7 million DFB had treated Louis-Dreyfus „incorrectly“ for tax purposes – and imposed a fine of 19.2 million euros. The DFB, which has completely replaced its top management in the meantime, continues to insist that the payment was made for operational reasons.