German court upholds six-year prison sentence
BERLIN — Disgraced film fund honcho Andreas Schmid, executive producer of Oscar-winning Charlize Theron starrer “Monster” and former CEO of Munich-based financier VIP Medienfonds, is likely heading back to prison.Schmid produced dozens of Hollywood films through Munich-based VIP before running afoul of the law in one of Germany’s biggest tax fraud cases. On Tuesday, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice upheld last year’s Munich court ruling that sentenced Schmid to six years in prison for tax evasion, according to the Financial Times Deutschland. Under Schmid, VIP raised nearly $1 billion from German investors to bankroll pics including Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” Josh Hartnett starrer “Lucky Number Slevin,” and teen spy actioner “Stormbreaker.” The Munich court found that VIP used only 20% of investment funds for production, banking the rest to collect interest and secure bank guaranties. This excluded investors from fully writing off their investment — a fact Schmid hid. Freed last year on $5.6 million bail until the Federal Court ruling, Schmid has already served more than two years in jail at the request of prosecutors who feared he would flee the country. The time he served will count toward his sentence.
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