The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe has largely confirmed a verdict of the Leipzig Regional Court against two former managers of the Internet travel company Unister. The appeals were largely unsuccessful, the Leipzig Regional Court announced on Friday. The BGH decision dates back to September 2019, but has only now been published.
In December 2017, the ex-chief financial officer of the insolvent supplier received two years’ imprisonment on probation for fraud, among other charges, and was also ordered to pay a fine of 8,000 euros. The former head of the airline division was sentenced to one year and seven months on probation for fraud. According to the court, the former chief financial officer was also guilty of unauthorized distribution of insurance and evasion of insurance tax. The BGH saw it differently.
At the time, the Leipzig Regional Court considered it proven that the two men had committed a criminal offense for so-called down-booking of airline tickets. The customers were sold a flight at a price displayed on the website, while Unister obtained more favorable conditions behind the scenes and kept the difference. The defendants had gained advantages by swapping customers, the verdict said.
The trial had been opened in January 2017 against a total of three Unister managers. Against the payment of a fine, the trial against one of them was discontinued. Originally, the public prosecutor’s office had also investigated Unister founder Thomas Wagner. The latter died in a plane crash in the summer of 2016. Unister then filed for insolvency.