Fraud with containers that don’t exist

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The container company P&R cheated on, allegedly, tens of thousands of investors – one of the largest cases of economic crime in the Federal Republic of Germany at all. The case shows the dangers of the unregulated capital market.

The damage is in the billions. 54 000 investors had invested their money in the shops of the Container lessor’s P&R. The company had sold out of shipping containers as an investment and leased back. Now, the company is insolvent.

Insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé has invited to a total of three meetings of Creditors in the Olympic hall in Munich, up to 9000 people are expected.

Easy-to-embarrassing

The Public, including spouses and family members – is not admitted to the three meetings, the media, are excluded. Many creditors are concerned that they could be identified, such as the Munich district court said. The P&R Broke, could be a possible damage of up to two billion euros according to the Flowtex scandal of the 1990s, the second-largest fraud case since 1945. Flowtex had sold over 3000 so-called Horizontal-auger rigs and leased them back, but only 270 of these machines possessed. The damage amounted at that time to over five billion D-Mark.

First payments may 2020

According to the information gathered in the investigation, P&R has, a suburb of about a Million non-existent Container from the Munich-based Millionaire green forest sells out: In the books of 1.6 million pieces were, however, found only 618. 000. The gap has increased over the years, because fresh off the gained money had been used to operate the old investor.

A lot of P&R customers are pensioners, who wanted to improve their pension provision. According to the insolvency administrator for almost a third of the investor is over 70 years old.

The company’s founder, Heinz R. sits in custody. Insolvency administrator, Jaffé, aims for the first payments to creditors for the year 2020.

Secure retirement for at least

For himself personally the founder of the company Heinz R. had planned a quite comfortable existence, According to a still retrievable investor prospectus R. wanted to withdraw himself from 2017 to 2022 salary and profit participation to EUR 32 million.

The disagreement in the P&R business model was that the P&R paid out far more money to the investors, as the container rental earned. The “Stiftung Warentest” had made in June of 2017,public,

The dangers of the Gray market

“Grey capital market” is the industry jargon for Investment companies, which do not require state permission, and only a few legal requirements must be meet – unlike banks, are not allowed to be without a banking licence and carefully controlled. The financial Supervisory authority Bafin itself warns investors that there is a Grey capital market is no Deposit insurance and no control of the balance sheets.

If “grey” investment firms such as P&R to hang up the prescribed brochures for the Information of investors, it will be reviewed by the Bafin. The authority is not checked explicitly whether the information is correct, or the underlying business model is viable.

Since consumer safety is one of the tasks of the Bafin, calls the club’s “financial turnaround” a more active role in the supervision. Insolvency administrator, Jaffé has, meanwhile, other Concerns: The legal construct of the P&R group, which complicates the access to the incoming revenue. To the investors, the containers were sold in Germany – these companies are insolvent.

The subsequent rental of the cargo ship companies, but in delivery and runs over the Switzerland. “The Swiss P&R-company is not in insolvency proceedings, i.e. not in the direct access to the German insolvency administrator,” said Jaffés speaker. Necessary to a “sophisticated multi-stage exploitation strategy”.

dk/hb (dpa)