The Curse of Pischetsrieder : Former VW boss on trial for tax fraud image

After several years of investigation, the Munich prosecutors accused Bernd Pischetsrieder, former head of BMW and VW, of tax evasion of 235,000 euro during his time at Volkswagen.

Pischetsrieder is accused of avoiding income taxes for some properties between 2001 to 2003, as his incorrect or incomplete information lead to reduced taxes, according to prosecutor Achim von Engel.

Pischetsrieder stated that he never thought he is doing something illegal and he never expected to be prosecuted. With his bank, which has all the money moved through accounts, he had rare contacts and telephones. The prosecution, however, is of the opinion that the transactions were deliberately authorized by Pischetsrieder and so he has deliberately evaded taxes.

If convicted, Pischetsrieder risks a probation time or a fine. Because the process is scheduled for only two days, the verdict may already be given on Tuesday.

Pischetsrieder has an impressive biography: began his career at BMW in 1973 as a Production Planning Engineer, promoted to become chairman of the board of BMW from 1993 through 1999. He was also chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, the parent company of the Volkswagen Group, from 2002 to 2006, and chairman of Scania AB until 2007. This is not the first time he is being suspected of tax evasion, as in 1990s he had been also warned by the authorities for a similar situation.