Court charges ex-EM.TV chiefs with fraud

Haffas charged with willfully misleading investors

COLOGNE — A Munich court has filed suit against former EM.TV toppers Thomas and Florian Haffa have been charged with willfully misleading investors about the performance of the company.

The suit follows an indictment filed by the Munich prosecutor last November, after a year of investigating the CEO and chief financial officer’s alleged violation of shareholders’ law.

Film licenser EM.TV, once a shooting star on Germany’s Neuer Markt, came under fire when its shareholders accused the Haffa brothers of concealing huge losses, which eventually led to the stock’s plummet and the resignation of the duo from the company.

Trial to begin in October

Accusations include the presentation of false figures at an investors confab in the U.S. in September 2000.

The court trial is due to start in October, a court spokesperson said. The same court dismissed several damage suits from EM.TV’s shareholders against the company last year. According to reports, witnesses heard from so far include business partner Leo Kirch and his former second man, Dieter Hahn.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Haffa brothers refused to acknowledge the charges.