Fraudstorytelling | Weekly filmtips | February 17, 2022
Manfred Schmider served 6 years in prison in the late 90s. In this video, Deutsche Welle will get you to know the story behind how he managed to scam billions in a complex pyramid scheme.
He started as a young, ambitious teenager, selling life insurance after school. At some point, he took a wrong turn and didn’t notice it at the time or realized it too late. Later on, many years went by, and he was known as the owner of the company Flowtex, which, according to the prosecutors, cheated banks and leasing companies out of more than four billion marks. His company adapted a technology concept from a US company named Flowmole, and convinced banks and leasing companies to invest in it. The boy who started with a moped had made it to the top, and then owned a fleet of luxury cars, villas all over the world, and his own airport. However, the concept he adapted was deceptive. But he believed in his concept and wanted it to appear as a success, and he managed to convince the investors that his company was turning a profit.
In this video, Schmider gets interviewed and taken to places that played an important role in his life as he made his way to the top. DW takes Schmider to the building where his company used to be. We also get to hear the experiences of his employees and his whole team who formerly worked for him.
At some point in his luxurious life, various questions about his company’s finances began to come up. But prosecutors and tax authorities did not immediately investigate, possibly because of his status and all the powerful politicians who were linked to Schmider.
It’s hard to believe that Manfred Schmider managed to get away with the scheme for so long, but the bigger it got, the more people believed him.
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