Ex-Deutsche chief faces fraud charges

City A.M. Reporter
THE former chief executive of Deutsche Bank has been charged with attempted fraud in the course of a long-running court feud with an ageing media entrepreneur.<br /><br />Prosecutors in Munich allege Rolf Breuer, who stepped down from Deutsche&rsquo;s board seven years ago, lied to judges to avoid a conviction in a civil suit brought by TV magnate Leo Kirch.<br /><br />It is the first time Breuer has been charged in relation to the case, which dates back to 2002.<br /><br />Kirch, now in his 80s, is claiming damages of about &euro;1.3bn (&pound;1.2bn) from Deutsche Bank for the role he says Breuer played in the downfall of his business empire. During a televised interview Breuer said it was rumoured the financial sector was unwilling to extend further credit to Kirch. Breuer was also president of the country&rsquo;s BdB banking association at the time.<br /><br />The charges brought yesterday refer to statements made by Breuer in 2003 in the course of the original case, when he was not under oath. It is understood Breuer told judges his TV comments were made based on media reports he had seen, but prosecutors allege he had inside knowledge based on his bank work. If the charges are confirmed by the relevant court, legal proceedings may follow.<br /><br />In a statement Deutsche Bank said: &ldquo;The bank has been told by Rolf Breuer that he has received a statement of the charges brought against him. This is another attempt by Leo Kirch to divert attention from his own responsibility for the failure of his enterprise.&rdquo;<br /><br />