Markus Jooste, former Steinhoff CEO, said to be charged in German criminal probe

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Markus Jooste, the former Steinhoff International Holdings chief executive, is among four people charged in Germany for accounting violations. Picture: beeld
Markus Jooste, the former Steinhoff International Holdings chief executive, is among four people charged in Germany for accounting violations. Picture: beeld

BUSINESS


Markus Jooste, the former Steinhoff International Holdings chief executive, is among four people charged in Germany for accounting violations, a person familiar with the investigation said.

The charges were filed about four month ago, according to the person who declined to be identified because the indictment hasn’t been made public. Prosecutors in the German city of Oldenburg said they may issue a statement about the case on Thursday.

READ: R241m in insider trading fines for Steinhoff’s Jooste and 3 others

The indictment covers accounting violations in Germany, the person said. Jooste’s German lawyer in an interview Thursday called the allegations inaccurate.

The charges are the first criminal cases related to the scandal that brought the retailer, based in South Africa and listed in Frankfurt, to the brink of collapse.

Deloitte refused to sign off on the company’s financial statements in 2017, triggering a dramatic share-price collapse.

Jooste resigned the same day, and has since been named by the company as central to a web of fraudulent transactions that artificially inflated profit and asset values over several years. He has denied the allegations.

READ: Steinhoff close to settling R192bn in legal claims

Manager Magazin reported the charges earlier this week. – Bloomberg


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