Deutsche Bank Co-CEO, Four Others Charged with Fraud | September 27, 2014

FRANKFURT, GERMAN—Prosecutors in Germany have brought charges against Deutsche Bank co-CEO Juergen Fitschen and two former CEOs in connection with what prosecutors say were false statements in a court case. The Munich prosecutor’s office said Fitschen, Rolf Breuer and Josef Ackermann were charged with attempted serious fraud over statements during a lawsuit brought by media mogul Leo Kirch.

Kirch accused then-CEO Breuer of contributing to the 2002 bankruptcy of his company by saying in a media interview that banks would not lend it any more money. Kirch died in 2011. Deutsche Bank settled with Kirch’s estate in February by agreeing to pay 775 million euros ($1.1 billion Canadian).

During testimony, prosecutors said, Breuer made false statements aimed at avoiding monetary damages.

After the court challenged the truthfulness of Breuer’s testimony, prosecutors said, the bank made a written submission containing a false statement aimed at supporting Breuer’s account. The five defendants all declared themselves in agreement with the statement, the prosecutors said.

Fitschen was a top Deutsche Bank executive at the time. In May, 2012 he became co-CEO along with Anshu Jain.

A court must decide whether there is enough evidence for a trial. Deutsche Bank said Tuesday it could not comment on ongoing litigation, but Fitschen has earlier denied the charges.

Two others, former board chairman Clemens Boersig and a defendant identified as Dr. von H., were charged with making false statements.

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