You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Koelmel charged

Teutonic distrib accused of embezzlement

BERLIN — Kinowelt exec Michael Koelmel was charged with 15 counts of embezzlement Monday in connection with the 2001 insolvency of the distribution/production company he founded with brother Rainer.

Although the brothers managed to resurrect Kinowelt last year, prosecutors have been probing Michael Koelmel’s activities, nearly derailing the siblings’ $32 million takeover bid for the insolvent company last year.

The Munich District Attorney’s Office alleges Koelmel misappropriated E25 million ($32 million) and impeded the insolvency proceedings.

Koelmel denied wrongdoing and said he will be found innocent if the case goes to trial. “If the charges were true, Kinowelt’s creditors would never have accepted our bid to buy back the company.”

$19 million question

The main thrust of the prosecutors’ case against Koelmel revolves around $19 million they contend Koelmel illegally transferred from Kinowelt to the brothers’ sports rights business, Sportwelt, before Kinowelt’s bankruptcy.

According to one Kinowelt insider, business dealings before the bankruptcy are damning either way: “On the one hand, they had to pay their bills, but any payments made before the insolvency look suspicious to prosecutors.”

Kinowelt, which grew massively during the Neuer Markt’s heyday, began to collapse after a number of major film and sports rights investments failed to turn a profit.

The Koelmels moved Kinowelt’s headquarters from Munich to Leipzig last year after reacquiring the company’s core assets — which include theatrical and home entertainment distribution divisions as well as a production unit — with the help of local state-owned bank Sparkasse Leipzig.

More Film

  • A Murder in Mansfield Documentary Review

    Film Review: 'A Murder in Mansfield'

    BERLIN — Kinowelt exec Michael Koelmel was charged with 15 counts of embezzlement Monday in connection with the 2001 insolvency of the distribution/production company he founded with brother Rainer. Although the brothers managed to resurrect Kinowelt last year, prosecutors have been probing Michael Koelmel’s activities, nearly derailing the siblings’ $32 million takeover bid for the […]

  • 'Over the Limit' Review: A Mesmerizing

    IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit'

    BERLIN — Kinowelt exec Michael Koelmel was charged with 15 counts of embezzlement Monday in connection with the 2001 insolvency of the distribution/production company he founded with brother Rainer. Although the brothers managed to resurrect Kinowelt last year, prosecutors have been probing Michael Koelmel’s activities, nearly derailing the siblings’ $32 million takeover bid for the […]

  • DreamWorks Animation Campus

    Film News Roundup: DreamWorks Animation Campus Sold for $290 Million

    BERLIN — Kinowelt exec Michael Koelmel was charged with 15 counts of embezzlement Monday in connection with the 2001 insolvency of the distribution/production company he founded with brother Rainer. Although the brothers managed to resurrect Kinowelt last year, prosecutors have been probing Michael Koelmel’s activities, nearly derailing the siblings’ $32 million takeover bid for the […]

  • Mudbound

    Oscar Myth of 'Pure' Movies: Why Netflix, Amazon Should Be Recognized

    BERLIN — Kinowelt exec Michael Koelmel was charged with 15 counts of embezzlement Monday in connection with the 2001 insolvency of the distribution/production company he founded with brother Rainer. Although the brothers managed to resurrect Kinowelt last year, prosecutors have been probing Michael Koelmel’s activities, nearly derailing the siblings’ $32 million takeover bid for the […]

  • IMAX Opens First European VR Center

    IMAX Opens First Virtual Reality Center in Europe

    BERLIN — Kinowelt exec Michael Koelmel was charged with 15 counts of embezzlement Monday in connection with the 2001 insolvency of the distribution/production company he founded with brother Rainer. Although the brothers managed to resurrect Kinowelt last year, prosecutors have been probing Michael Koelmel’s activities, nearly derailing the siblings’ $32 million takeover bid for the […]

  • SGIFF: Why Gavin Lim's Diamond Dogs'

    Why 'Diamond Dogs' Had to Premiere in Singapore

    BERLIN — Kinowelt exec Michael Koelmel was charged with 15 counts of embezzlement Monday in connection with the 2001 insolvency of the distribution/production company he founded with brother Rainer. Although the brothers managed to resurrect Kinowelt last year, prosecutors have been probing Michael Koelmel’s activities, nearly derailing the siblings’ $32 million takeover bid for the […]

  • Mona Fong Mona Fong, wife of

    Singer, Star, Leading Asian Film Executive Mona Fong Dies at 83

    BERLIN — Kinowelt exec Michael Koelmel was charged with 15 counts of embezzlement Monday in connection with the 2001 insolvency of the distribution/production company he founded with brother Rainer. Although the brothers managed to resurrect Kinowelt last year, prosecutors have been probing Michael Koelmel’s activities, nearly derailing the siblings’ $32 million takeover bid for the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content