Accused ex-wind power entrepreneur admits fraud
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OSNABRÜCK (dpa-AFX) – In the process of fake wind power projects, one of the main defendants admitted fraudulent acts. It was ultimately indifferent to his contractual partners whether the projects were actually implemented, said the 31-year-old entrepreneur from the Emsland region on Thursday in the Osnabrück district court. At the same time, the demand from large energy companies for projects has been extremely high in recent years. However, the difficulties in implementation have grown steadily.
Five defendants have had to answer before the regional court since the end of August. They are said to have deceived energy companies with forged documents about the existence of wind farms and to have marketed these non-existent projects. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the damage should amount to around ten million euros. In the event of a confession, the chamber had promised an understanding. (Ref .: 2 KLs 1/21)
In some cases, he had also submitted falsified documents, the entrepreneur said. They were not noticed during the examination by renowned law firms. He had wondered about it himself. “Nobody just cared,” he said.
Shortly after the contract was signed, one company withdrew completely from the market for renewable energies and turned to nuclear power. Market shares were important to his contractual partners. “That’s when I got a foolish idea,” he said. “We said we’d like to build the package for you the way you want it.”
Even as a high school graduate, he was interested in the renewable energy market, he said. Back then, in 2010, they were said to have the best future prospects. Because photovoltaics and biomass were on the “decline” in Germany at the time, he was looking for a market niche in wind power. From 2012 to 2014/15 he therefore built up a company with the help of older, experienced partners that, as a service provider, was looking for space for wind power projects.
Politicians then put an end to the first boom in wind power with the constant changes in feed-in tariffs. Despite great difficulties, his company then built a wind farm in Hessen together with other partners, which made his company known in the industry.
Originally he was very enthusiastic about the expansion of wind energy. “At some point we took a wrong turn,” he said. The matter developed a momentum of its own that he could not escape.
He was also in contact with numerous politicians in Berlin. He once paid for a big dinner in a posh restaurant, which was what was expected, said the Emslander. That would have cost a good 26,000 euros – the wine could also have been a little better. For his luxury accommodation in the Adlon, where he lived for several months, up to 250,000 euros were due per month.
At the beginning of the corona pandemic, the defendant said there was an opportunity to earn money legally. He had contacts with a disinfectant manufacturer in China and wanted to sell millions of liters of disinfectant to the federal government in a joint deal with a Dutch mail-order pharmacy, with a profit margin of 60 percent for him. That was an opportunity for him to buy back the lazy wind power businesses. Before that could happen, however, he was arrested in his luxury suite in the Hotel Adlon.
The money from the air business was used to finance his vehicle fleet – his family had several luxury cars – and salaries. The rest was in accounts abroad, including in Andorra. When the presiding judge asked what happened to this money, the 31-year-old said: “All of that has been used up.”
The trial will continue next Tuesday – then his siblings and his mother, who are also accused, will want to comment. The co-managing director and “fatherly friend” of the defendant did not want to say anything at first, said his lawyer./eks/DP/zb
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