Peschorn about Rene Benko: “I would sleep very restlessly”

Peschorn about Rene Benko: “I would sleep very restlessly”
Wolfgang Peschorn, President of the Financial Procuratorate

The Austrian Financial Procuratorate is convinced that the restructuring plan for the insolvent Signa Group of Tyrolean ex-billionaire René Benko is the wrong approach. The promised quota of 30 percent for creditors can only be achieved if there is a “striking market recovery” for real estate, said the authority’s president, Wolfgang Peschorn, to the Association of Foreign Press in Vienna.

  • Read here: “The vote was clear”: Signa Prime creditors accept the restructuring plan

He maintains that bankruptcy would have been the cleaner solution, said Peschorn. Such a break-up under the direction of an insolvency administrator would also have had the aim of making the best possible use of the existing assets and, on top of that, would have guaranteed that those previously responsible for the disastrous development at the Signa Group would definitely no longer have any say.

“Indications of criminal offenses”

According to Peschorn, things could get legally tight for Signa founder Benko. “I would sleep very restlessly,” said the “Lawyer of the Republic,” referring to the former real estate tycoon. There are currently “numerous indications of criminal offenses” surrounding the spectacular decline of the Signa Group. Benko was described by investors as a “de facto managing director” and was therefore probably the driving force behind the transactions.

  • More on the subject: “Greed eats brains”: billionaires against Benko

Processing the case, including critically questioning the role of supervisory boards, would be very important for Austria and also for Germany – if only to make a contribution to hygiene, said Peschorn. “If this isn’t dealt with, you have to ask yourself, what else is going on and why do we have legally regulated responsibilities?”

Peschorn, who represents the legal interests of the Republic of Austria as head of the financial prosecutor, complained about a very limited willingness to provide information on almost all sides. “There is a lack of enthusiasm when it comes to coming to terms with the circumstances.” It should be questioned on the basis of which specific considerations a restructuring plan was approved in which there was not even money for the insolvency administrator’s salary at the time of the decision, said Peschorn, who was also Interior Minister from 2019 to the beginning of 2020.

  • Read here:The Signa bankruptcies and the millions for the insolvency administrators

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