Even if the 65-year-old defendant outwardly accepted Judge Michaela Wawerla’s judgment, he definitely did not agree when he was sentenced to a fine of 140 daily rates of 15 euros each at the Erdingen district court for thwarting a foreclosure. The accusation of the public prosecutor’s office was also not easy to understand for a layperson – the defendant had come without a lawyer. There had been an enforcement order against the man for a claim of around 4,300 euros. Apart from the fact that he had appealed against it, he had stated in an oath of disclosure that he had no money: “Zero euros”. And thus prevented a foreclosure.
According to the defendant, his information had also been correct in the asset report: “I had no money at the time,” said the 65-year-old in court. In terms of money in cash or in the account, this may have been true, but from a legal point of view he did have money – just not currently, but in prospect. Because before his revelation, his mother had died and the inheritance was to be divided among the three children. However, the inheritance dispute dragged on and it wasn’t until two years later, in May 2019, that it came to an end with an Erdinger notary and the accused received around 148,000 euros.
The 65-year-old did not see that he had to indicate at the time that an inheritance was in prospect. At the time of the affidavit he had no money – that’s that. Which led the magistrate to remark that his false financial statement was actually punishable because of false insurance against the oath of state. And this can be punished with a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine according to Section 156 of the Criminal Code.
A summoned lawyer who had to do with the enforcement order said in court that after the oath of disclosure with the defendant, they had agreed on an installment payment of half the amount owed, but not a cent had been paid so far. The firm did not know that the 65-year-old had made money in the meantime.
For the prosecutor and judge Wawerla the guilt of the accused was established after the end of the taking of evidence. The fact that he had been convicted of fraud before, and thus had a relevant criminal record, made his situation worse. According to the prosecutor, in the penalty order for a fine of 120 daily rates of 15 euros each, it was assumed that the accused had confessed, but he was not. She therefore demanded 140 daily rates. Still at 15 euros each, because the 65-year-old has only received a small pension since the beginning of the year.
The magistrate agreed. The 65-year-old could have avoided anything if he had simply paid the debt or deposited the inherited amount of money into his own account. However, he did not have that, but had it stipulated in the notarial deed that the money would be transferred to a club account to which he had access. Wawerla said he wanted to cover up his new fortune with this.
How the accused now wants to pay the outstanding debts as well as the 2100 euro fine and the costs of the proceedings remains open. When specifying his personal circumstances, the 65-year-old did not mention a word of the 148,000 euros he received in 2019. When Wawerla asked what about the money, the defendant replied: “I no longer have it”.