Mohren guilty of fraud and tax evasion

A German court has convicted the former head of sports programming at pubcaster ARD’s regional affil MDR for fraud and tax evasion after he admitted accepting bribes worth $500,000 to make sure corporate advertising banners appeared in sports coverage.

A state court in the eastern German city of Leipzig handed Wilfried Mohren a two-year suspended sentence. Mohren, who said he had been naive, also agreed to pay MDR $560,000 in damages. His wife was found guilty of being an accomplice and fined $9,000.

Mohren was sacked and arrested in 2005, just two weeks after Juergen Emig, former chief of sports at ARD affil HR, was jailed on similar charges.

At the time, ARD was reeling from a product-placement controversy that prompted a bloodletting of senior management at its production company Bavaria, including then-CEO Thilo Kleine.

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