FRANKFURT, March 29 Two managers of a German
Ponzi property scheme who became notorious for throwing parties
with models, fast cars and even an elephant have been sentenced
to 8 1/2 years in prison, a Frankfurt court said on Wednesday.
The founders of S&K were convicted of breach of trust for
operating a pyramid scheme in which they funnelled 240 million
euros ($258 million) from 11,000 investors into their own
accounts to finance a lavish lifestyle.
In a 3,200-page complaint, prosecutors described the
racketeering of Stephan Christoph Schaefer and Jonas Koeller,
who were arrested in 2013 after 1,200 investigators searched the
S&K premises and its roughly 150 affiliated companies.
Raiding police found numerous bags filled with coins that
which at least one of the defendants had used for bathing in
money, much like cartoon billionaire character Uncle Scrooge,
according to prosecutors at the 110-day trial.
The defendants regularly impressed customers by arriving at
their parties in a company helicopter and showing off their
luxury Porsche, Lamborghini and Aston Martin cars.
They also posed with underwear models, on one occasion
bathing in an oversized champagne glass, and even brought a live
zebra and elephant to their parties.
($1 = 0.9293 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by Mark Heinrich)