Ex-Steinhoff CEO Jooste a wanted man in Germany

Markus is accused of accounting fraud

Former CEO of Steinhoff Markus Jooste. File photo.
Former CEO of Steinhoff Markus Jooste. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

Disgraced former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste is a wanted man in Germany where prosecutors yesterday applied for an arrest warrant against him after he failed to appear in court.

Jooste, who is accused of accounting fraud allegedly committed between 2011 and 2014, is said to have lost his travel documents.

The SABC reported yesterday that the public prosecutor’s office in Oldenburg applied for the suspension of the proceedings and the issuance of an arrest warrant after they were informed that Jooste could not travel due to missing documents.

This would be the first criminal charge against Jooste since Steinhoff’s collapse five years ago over an accounting scandal.

Steinhoff share prices plunged by over 90% after revelations of accounting irregularities on December 5 2017.

Alleged fraud at Steinhoff was revealed in December 2017 when auditors would not sign off on the company’s accounts. A month ago, assets worth more than R1.4bn held by or linked to Jooste, 61, were frozen by the Reserve Bank.

These included Jooste’s home in Hermanus, the Lanzerac wine farm in Stellenbosch, art and jewellery. This related only to suspected exchange control contraventions rather than the wider alleged fraud involving R106bn in “fictitious and/or irregular transactions”.

Additional reporting by TimesLIVE

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