Bayern's Uli Hoeness faces three-and-a-half years in jail for fraud offences. How has it come this far?
2001: Uli Hoeness receives 20 Million Marks from his friend and former Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus to speculate with it at the stock market. The money is deposited in a bank account of the Swiss bank Vontobel.
January 2013: An employee of the Vontobel bank calls Hoeness and tells him that a reporter from the German news magazine Stern is investing about his account at the bank. Hoeness decides to prepare an amended return as this can lead in the best of all cases to an amnesty for tax fraud.
January 17th 2013: Hoeness hands in his amended return and on the same day the Stern reveals a story about a secret bank account of a leading German football official, but without mentioning Hoeness’ name.
March 20th 2013: Hoeness is arrested because there have been irregularities with his amended return. He avoids going to jail by paying a caution of 5 Million Euros.
May 1st 2013: Hoeness says in an interview with the newspaper Zeit that he suffered from compulsive gambling in the time between 2002 and 2006, but that he has completely overcome his addiction. Apart from that he states that his tax affair has nothing to do with the Bayern Munich and that he would leave his position there the moment he has the impression that this affair would harm the club.
November 4th 2013: The provincial court in Munich announces officially that there will be a court trial against Uli Hoeness because of the tax fraud of 3.5 Million Euros that were mentioned in his amended return. The process is going to start in March 2014.
November 13th 2013: Bayern’s members celebrate Hoeness at their annual meeting with a standing ovation. It is clear that Hoeness has all the support from his club.
March 10th 2014: The process against Uli Hoeness starts and he reveals on the first day that his tax fraud amounts 18.5 Million Euros instead of the 3.5 Million he had mentioned earlier. This makes his amended return worthless and an amnesty almost impossible.
image: © William Brawley