Köfler and Dummel: Two million euros quick sell? “Black” threatens criminal charges – WELT

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a job Koffler and Dahl

Selling shares for 2 million euros quickly? “Black” threatens criminal charges

Ralph Dumiles (left) and George Kofler's Social Chain are insolvent Ralph Dumiles (left) and George Kofler's Social Chain are insolvent

Ralph Dumiles (left) and George Kofler’s Social Chain are insolvent

Source: Image Alliance / Flashpic

After the bankruptcy of Social Chain, the SdK Protection Association suspected illegal machinations. The Financial Supervisory Authority also checks again. The focus is on errors in the annual report and shady stock sales shortly before bankruptcy.

DrThe bankruptcy of the Social Chain joint venture of “Lion’s Den” investors Georg Kofler and Ralph Damel It could have legal consequences. Shareholder protectors file a criminal complaint, and Baffin FSA routinely scrutinizes processes surrounding insolvency. Two events stand out in particular: errors in the 2021 annual report, which Baffin has already criticized, and the $1 million stock sale by Kofler a month earlier.

Koffler was publicly remorseful. “I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who is now forced to accept losses as a result of the bankruptcy of Social Chain AG,” he said. He always believed in plans.

Two years ago, for example, Koffler announced that his company would break the €1 billion mark in sales in 2023 — almost three times what it already achieved at its peak in 2022. “We have bolstered our conviction with a lot of stocks and now I have to accept huge losses,” Koffler explained.

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Hagen Wingertzahn (left) and Dr.  Jobst Müller-Trembusch, Managing Director, RSG

People in front of the Sausalitos branch in Aachen

However, he got rid of a portion of his shares before filing for bankruptcy and the subsequent further drop in the share price. According to a mandatory notice, “Group Georg Kofler GmbH” sold exactly 825,000 shares at the end of June 2023 at a price of €2.60 – that is, for €2.145 million.

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For comparison: on Tuesday, the stock was only listed at €0.52. The stock package would have been worth only €429,000.

For this sale a must Financial regulatory authorities are also interested. As CEO and major shareholder at the time, Kofler could have had inside information about the company’s situation. “We routinely look at price and sales developments in the context of bankruptcies,” said a spokeswoman for Pavin Willet.

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The Social Chain joint venture by Ralf Dümmel (right) and Georg Kofler is pinching

However, the authority is not allowed to comment on specific cases. It is unclear when the test result will be available. The company initially did not comment on the operation when asked.

Clearer expressed himself Marc Liebcher of the Investors Protection Society (SdK): “We will file a criminal complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Berlin within the week and consider compensation claims.”

It has to do with a booking error that Pavin announced two weeks ago. “We can hardly imagine how he could have accidentally made such a mistake that on a key measure the company’s position appeared markedly more positive than it was,” said the lawyer.

Reservation error suggested positive cash flow

Specifically, due to the improper bookmarking of the loan and the sale of shares, it looked as if the company generated positive operating cash flow in 2021, i.e. was able to succeed in its core business.

The opposite was true. The bottom line is that Social Chain has accumulated increasing losses every year since its inception. In 2022, the company posted a bad €127m. A loss of 29 cents per euro was incurred in sales.

“This is the first semester of business management,” Liebcher rebuked the incorrect entry in the 2021 report. Berlin investigators will now have to verify whether there was intent or at least gross negligence. It can be assumed that shareholders would have made their investment decisions at the highest point in the stock based on the wrong numbers.

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The major shareholder, Kofler, took over as CEO in January in order to rehabilitate the ailing social chain. After declaring bankruptcy in the Autonomous Administration, he resigned from the office on Monday.

The 66-year-old was well known and wealthy in the 2000s as the head of TV stations Pro Sieben and Premiere. He owns 36 percent and Dümmel owns about 5 percent in the company, which markets products through social media and discounts.

Two years ago, Kofler acquired DS Produkte from Dümmel together with Social Chain. Both entrepreneurs through Vox Show “Lion’s Den” known as investors. After the deal, the stock rose to as high as 54 euros before falling.

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