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By Kyle Zeeman

Digital News Editor

First Steinhoff exec gets jail time

There are hopes the latest convictions will see former CEO Markus Jooste hauled before court.

A German court has sentenced former Steinhoff European finance chief Dirk Schreiber to three and a half years in prison, the first conviction of an executive in the company’s global accounting scandal.

According to Bloomberg, ex-director Siegmar Schmidt also got a suspended sentence of two years. Due to the length of the probe, both sentences were reduced by a year.

Dodgy dealings and dissolving

Steinhoff made headlines in 2017 when accounting irregularities dating back to 2015 were discovered during an auditing probe triggered by accounting firm Deloitte’s refusal to sign off on statements.

ALSO READ:  Five things you need to know about Steinhoff

Last month, the company’s shareholders voted to dissolve the retailer and delist it from trade in Johannesburg and Frankfort stock exchanges.

Is Jooste next?

The company’s former CEO, Markus Jooste, under which the accounting irregularities took place, has yet to be arrested. He resigned after the scandal broke, and denied all knowledge of accounting fraud.

An arrest warrant was issued for Jooste in June after he failed to appear in the trial. There are hopes the latest convictions will see the SA businessman hauled before court in Germany.

His lawyer, Bernd Gross, told the court at the time Jooste was facing more significant investigations and allegations in South Africa and had passport-related issues which prevented him from travelling.

NOW READ: PIC takes around R40m for half its Steinhoff stake and runs

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