19.01.2022 – 16:36
The daily mirror
Hertha investor Lars Windhorst has rejected a report that he is said to have been involved in a financial affair. “Business Insider” had previously reported, citing internal bank reports, account data and e-mails, that between 2013 and 2016 millions of dollars were said to have flowed into the Windhorst group of companies from criminal acts. “The article is complete nonsense and not seriously constructed,” Windhorst told the “Tagesspiegel” on Wednesday. These are “nonsensical allegations”. Windhorst also contradicted the suspicion that shares in Bundesliga club Hertha BSC could have been bought with dirty money.
At the center of the financial affair are the Arab manager Khadem al-Qubaisi, who was convicted of corruption and money laundering, and Falcon Bank, which was found guilty of “qualified money laundering” by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court in December 2021. The news portal reports that questionable transactions between the Arab company and the bank are said to have served to raise liquidity for Windhorst’s company. In secret reports by the auditing company KPMG, Windhorst is said to have been accused of bogus transactions with the manager who was later convicted of money laundering.
“There can’t be any connection to the investment at Hertha in terms of time,” Windhorst told the “Tagesspiegel”. “My business relationship with Falcon Bank, which was correct at the time, ended long ago in 2019 when I invested in Hertha. This relationship has not existed since 2016, and in 2017 we repaid all the money to Falcon.”
He also “never had close personal contact” with said al-Qubaisi and “especially did no business with him,” Windhorst explained. At that time, the man was highly regarded, business giants and German supervisory boards tried to be close to him. Windhorst recalled that there was a suspected money laundering report in 2016, but that the Zurich public prosecutor’s office had not initiated any investigations after examining the allegations.
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