German authorities searched homes and offices last Wednesday near Munich, in other states and in Luxembourg, as part of the ongoing investigation into the false subscriber numbers of the former pay-TV platform Premiere, now trading as Sky Deutschland.
Former Premiere CEO Georg Kofler is at the heart of the accusations of publishing inflated subscriber numbers. The investigators found that investors might have been misled by the supplying of false figures over the period between 2007 and 2008, resulting in possible investment fraud and market manipulation. Premiere had confessed to these false figures after Kofler left the company. In a statement, Kofler dismissed the accusations sharply.
“The allegations behind the investigation by the prosecutor are unfounded. My position remains unchanged: during my tenure Premiere has always reported correctly,” according to Kofler.
In November last year, the German financial authority BAFIN accused Premiere to have set its subscriber numbers for 2007 and 2008 by more than 600,000 customers too high. In addition, the company failed to sufficiently point to the risks in its annual reports.