News Mar 07, 2017 09:42 AM EST

German tycoon Schlecker faces fraud trial with family

By April Kirstin Chua

Anton Schlecker has gone on trial with his wife and two children. The German chain store tycoon is accused of offenses relating to the collapse of his pharmacy chain that employed 50,000 people.

The former giant of Germain retail is facing trial in regards to the 2012 bankruptcy and reports mention that his family allegedly helped him in the incident.

Aside from his pharmacy chain, Schlecker's shop also sells personal hygiene goods and household pieces. About 25,000 employees lost their jobs in Germany, as well as, a similar number in Europe after the German businessman filed for bankruptcy.

Prosecutors allege that Schlecker already knew that his chain is up for bankruptcy but directed off more than €20 million (£17 million; $21 million) in assets that would otherwise have gone to creditors. Schlecker is also accused of making false statements about the company's financial situation.

"The accusations are unfounded," Schlecker stated through his lawyer in Stuttgart. The German tycoon's lawyer also argued that his client did not imagine that the business would face bankruptcy.

The indictment also includes Schlecker spending €1 million on a home renovation for his son Lars. Another charge would be the German businessman's lavish spending on a holiday for the children that cost about tens of thousands of euros and €800,000 in gifts for his four grandchildren. Lars and his sister, Meike apparently runs a logistic firm called LDG that also allegedly became a conduit for some of the Schlecker company assets.

Schlecker's wife, Christa, is also accused of receiving tens of thousands of euros cloaked as consultancy fees. This wouldn't be the first time the family faced indictment regarding Schlecker drug store's management and employees. In 1998, Schlecker and his wife were given a suspended sentence of ten months each and fined 1 million euros by the Regional Court in Stuttgart.

The two of them deceived Schlecker employees into believing they were paid per going pay rates but the court has found that actual salaries were lower. At the time, the German founder of Schlecker drug store and his wife were charged with fraud.

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