German police investigating former Vestas employees for fraud
Some former senior executives of Vestas's German subsidiary, Vestas Deutschland GmbH, are suspected of helping themselves to inflated wages and kickbacks for personal gain.
Following a six-year-long investigation, German police have brought fraud charges against six people.
"The prosecutor’s office in Kiel has launched a criminal investigation of suspected fraud and aiding and abetting fraud against Vestas Deutschland by former senior executives and business owners,” prosecutor Manfred Schulze-Ziffer told Finans. “We have searched eight locations in Schleswig-Holstein and Berlin.”
The searches were conducted in September. These are the first charges that have been filed against former Vestas executives.
The former executives are accused, among other charges, of using their positions at the company to make private side-deals in the wind turbine business, which is in direct violation of Vestas's corporate policy and Danish and German law.
Sources speculated that the accused were involved in suspicious transactions worth as much as 6.4 million kroner. Vestas has stated publicly in the past that the shady deals were conducted during the watch of European sales director Hans Jørn Rieks, who currently holds a senior management position at Vestas competitor Siemens Wind Power.
No charges in Denmark … yet
Rieks refused to answer any questions about the case, including whether or not he has been charged. Kiel also declined to name names. Similar charges are being investigated in Denmark, but Danish fraud investigators have yet to bring charges.
Vestas declined to comment further on the case.