Although a habfurt businessman was cheated out of more than 100,000 euros, although the court spent more than five hours trying to find out who knew what and how it all went down, and although the entire solar industry is being discredited by such dealings, the proceedings at the habfurt court ended on wednesday (28. November) like the famous hornberger schieben.
The fog remains
In the end, the court and the defendants were still poking around in the dense fog, which was not cleared by the verbose statements of the three defendants. The fraud proceedings against the manner in which solar modules and inverters were traded have been dropped. The victim is left behind: the victimized company boss will be left sitting on the damages.
Flashback: in the late summer of 2010, the entire solar industry was in a state of turmoil. The federal government had announced that it would radically reduce the feed-in tariffs for photovoltaic systems. Panic broke out, and installations were made by hook or by crook. End customers, system builders, traders and suppliers – all wanted to make a quick buck and get their sheep dry. In this situation the following happened.
Like many other companies in the heating and sanitary sector, a habfurt company had also entered the solar business in a big way. The company had made over 40 million euros in sales at the time, the still furious boss reported as a witness before the court. When everyone then wanted to bring their planned plant online on time, the sudden surge in demand led to a huge bottleneck in the supply of electricity
the supply of parts.
In any case, in august 2010, the local craftsman was urgently looking for 80 inverters for a free-standing solar installation – they are needed to convert the direct current produced by the solar cells into alternating current. Like a rescuing angel, one of the defendants, a 44-year-old business economist who had been self-employed for a short time, called him. He told him that there were enough of the required inverters in dusseldorf, ready for immediate delivery. And that at an unbeatable price of about 133 000 euro.
Contrary to all considerations
All alarm bells should have rung for the company owner here. But since he sensed – at such a favorable purchase price – also a rough deal, he pushed all doubts aside and became reckless. On the mediation of the business economist, the alleged supplier, a then 23-year-old youngster, sent the invoice for the six-figure amount to habfurt. And the unsuspecting businessman paid without delay, although he had not seen the goods, let alone received them.
The mediating business economist had actually seen the devices shortly before in a dusseldorf warehouse. The 23-year-old had posed as the owner, accompanied by a 58-year-old hartz IV recipient. The one, which throws a significant light on all three of them, was still bragging in the dock about being able to attract millions of euros in deposits from investors. The inverters did not belong to any of the three defendants, but to a rough trader.
And so it happened: the money paid was used for other dubious and difficult to understand transactions, the habfurter was repeatedly drowned. Finally, in mid september 2010, all three came to his office and dropped their pants, declaring that they were unable to deliver. As a pledge, they left a car and signed an agreement in which they declared that they would pay back the purchase price and add four inverters as compensation. The contract has the glued still today. It's not worth the paper it's written on. The only thing the businessman has recovered from his lost money is, for one thing, 10.000 euros from the sale of the vehicle, on the other hand 22.000 euros transferred to him by the 23-year-old's mother. 100.But he has squandered thousands of euros in the sand.
Judge roland wiltschka justified the dismissal by stating that neither the intermediary business administrator nor the older defendant could be proven to have had intent to defraud or to have enriched themselves. The young man who received the money is in custody – still until the end of 2013. In 2011, the eschwege district court had sentenced him to two years, five months for fraud, theft and receiving stolen goods – also with bill of exchange judges. Funny as it sounds, that was his luck. The case against him was dismissed because "the penalty to be expected in the event of a conviction is not significant in addition to any other legal penalty", word by word in the law.
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