WirtschaftsstrafsachenWhite-collar offences

Law relating to economic offences with particular regard to accusations of fraud or breach of trust

In recent years, the penalties for business conduct relevant in terms of criminal law have been defined by an ever growing number of specific offences set forth either in the German Penal Code or in supplementary statutes. But, most of the time, investigations into white-collar offences focus on conventional types of offences like fraud (§ 263 German Penal Code) and breach of trust (§ 266 German Penal Code). These continue to be the main types of economic offences.

While fraud cases play a part especially in relation to purchasing, selling or invoicing goods or services as well as for capital procurement, accusations of breach of trust have become a gateway for criminal investigations into almost every kind of business conduct. Breach-of-trust charges are faced by general managers, executive and supervisory board members of both limited liability and companies limited by shares in the same way as by employees who have a specific fiduciary relationship to their companies and are alleged to having caused losses by acting contrary to their duties.

Even though court rulings have set limits to its scope, the elements forming a breach-of-trust offence are still lacking proper shape and thus give rise to a growing number of criminal investigations which, at the outset, are merely concerned with business activities that are risk-prone per se, with expenditures that are of no real economic interest, or are excessive in amount or with the failure of realizing opportunities for making a profit. In these cases, it will always be possible to find an initial suspicion which is sufficient for taking up investigations.

This law firm is here to defend those facing charges in every stage of criminal proceedings. The lawyers from this office are also prepared to provide support to the companies affected as large-scale search actions are often under intense media coverage, and sanctions applied under trade law and fines imposed on companies may cause serious economic detriment not least to the company itself.