Fraud, White Collar & Business Crime

In German law, business criminal law refers to those types of offenses that are either intended to protect classic the interests of individuals or companies, or offenses that protect the functioning of the market place, the interests of the public in the functioning of public or private insurance companies and pension schemes as well as the revenue of social security funds. Being almost synonymous to the English term "white-collar crime", it typically covers a wide field of offenses, such as fraud, embezzlement, misuse of wages and salaries, forgery, bribery, racketeering, money laundering, confidentiality or secrecy violations, and intentional bankruptcy, but may also include corporate offences against the environment, such as water, soil or air pollution or illegal disposal of waste.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Alexander Ignor and Anke Müller-Jacobsen originally collected their intensive defence experience in the course of the so-called post-GDR-trials of former East-German officials as well as the later trials on crimes conducted in the immediate aftermath of the German reunification. Among other many other cases, for example, both served as assigned counsel in the high-profile case of the GDR's "foreign exchange buyer", Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski.
Dr. Camilla Bertheau began her career as defence counsel with legal as well as factually challenging cases in this area (for example, the so-called Transferrubel trials), too.

In line with the shifting interests of prosecutors, later our defence work focused on so-called Luxembourg cases (tax evasion charges) as well as investigations and trials in the course of the so called Berlin banking affair (embezzlement and falsification of the balance sheet charges). For example, Anke Müller-Jacobsen and Prof. Dr. Dr. Alexander Ignor represented the formerly accused Berlin State senators in the Tempodrom case and together defended members of the supervisory board of BerlinHyp in the so-called Aubis case.

Since the German reunification, we have also defended individuals in a number of cases related to criminal charges connected to foreign trade (partly connected with espionage allegations), in high-profile corruption cases, and in bankruptcy cases. Our extensive experiences and insight in these areas helps us in advising companies who seek to implement preventive compliance measures.

But it is by no means only spectacular economic criminal proceedings in which we have been and are active as defenders. We have advised and defended medium-sized enterprises and individual business professionals in various business-related cases that cover the broad spectrum of the criminal code.