You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Schmid found guilty of tax fraud

Film fund exec sentenced to six years in jail

In one of Germany’s biggest tax fraud cases, Andreas Schmid, the founder and former topper of private film investment fund VIP Medienfonds, has been sentenced to six years in prison for tax evasion.

Schmid’s one-time partner and former VIP chief exec Andreas Grosch was sentenced to two years probation.

Under Schmid, VIP raised E630 million ($920 million) from thousands of German investors to bankroll international and domestic productions including the Roland Emmerich-produced “Trade,” helmer Tom Tykwer’s “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” helmer Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” Josh Hartnett starrer “Lucky Number Slevin” and teen spy actioner “Stormbreaker.”

VIP attracted some 10,000 high-bracketed investors who believed their investments in film production were tax deductible.

The court found that VIP used only 20% of funds for film production, keeping the rest in bank accounts to collect interest and secure bank guaranties. This excludes investors from fully writing off their investment, as the coin was not all used for film production.

“Both of the defendants knew that the information in the tax statements were false,” said presiding Munich regional court judge Huberta Knoeringer at Tuesday’s ruling.

Schmid and Grosch must now pay back millions in back taxes.

The ruling is a boost for irate VIP investors, who face millions of euros owed in back taxes as a result of their investments.

They are seeking damages from Schmid and a number of banks that marketed VIP funds, including the Commerzbank, Dresdner Bank and the HypoVereinsbank. The court’s decision is likely to strengthen their claims for damages.

Schmid, who is expected to appeal, has already been in jail for more than two years, initially at the request of prosecutors who feared he would flee the country while they probed VIP, and throughout the seven-month trial. The time he served will be credited to his sentence.

Schmid was freed on $5.8 million bail until the commencement of his sentence.

More Film

  • Kiernan Shipka and Ross LynchMTV Movie

    MTV Movie & TV Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]

  • Johnny BananasMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    'The Challenge' Veteran Crashes MTV Awards Acceptance Speech; Cut From Broadcast

    Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio pulled a Kanye West at Saturday’s taping of the MTV Movie & TV awards when “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” won over “The Challenge” in the Reality Royalty category. However, viewers didn’t get to see it. Producers of the show cut out Devenanzio’s speech from Monday’s airing, after the reality star took [...]

  • Zachary LeviMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: The Complete List

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards returned to television Monday, with host Zachary Levi and a number of pop culture favorites. Dominating this year’s nominations with four apiece were front runners “Avengers: Endgame,” which took home the evening’s best movie award, and “Game of Thrones,” which won best show. The Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG” also scored [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Jon Ham Richard Jewell

    Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm Join Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s already star-studded drama “Richard Jewell.” Paul Walter Hauser is set to star as the titular Jewell in Warner Bros.’ pic alongside Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney and Kathy Bates as Jewell’s mother. The drama is based on Marie Brenner’s article in Vanity Fair [...]

  • Where the Wind Blows

    Hong Kong's 'Where the Wind Blows' Sidesteps Protests For China Promo

    Hong Kong film director Philip Yung and his cast were in Shanghai on Monday to promote their upcoming film “Where the Wind Blows.” They revealed new details while cautiously sidestepping — for the most part — the awkward issue of last week’s massive civil protests in Hong Kong against a controversial bill that would have [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content