Report: Public Prosecutor's office investigating Conergy

According to a report in the daily newspaper “Handelsblatt” today (Tuesday), the public prosecutor’s office in Hamburg has begun investigations against eight former managers of the company. Among others, the former chairman of the board Hans-Martin Rüter, ex-finance chairman Heiko Piossek are under investigation for possible balance sheet falsification and insider trading, the newspaper reports with reference to circles close to the procedure.

Six other former Conergy managers, including the current supervisory board member Dieter Ammer, are also being charged. The matter in question involves the balance sheet for financial year 2006. The photovoltaic company was forced to subsequently lower annual sales at the time by approximately €70 million.

According to the information held by the public prosecutor’s office, the accused allegedly incorrectly reported sales with subsidiaries. Neither the public prosecutor’s office in Hamburg nor the accused wanted to comment on the possible investigations, the paper went on to say.

The public prosecutor’s office purportedly accuses Rüter and Piossek of having sold a majority of their shares to the photovoltaic company in full knowledge of the falsified balance sheets in the spring of 2007. Rüter, chairman of the board at the time apparently collected €16.4 million, and Piossek in the region of €100,000.

A short time later the share price collapsed due to the poor economic situation of the company. According to the "Handelsblatt" report Ammer is likewise accused of having known about the false balance sheets and to have pocketed €10.9 million through the sale of a block of shares. The then supervisory board chairman was, however, not actively involved in falsification of the balance sheets.