Insolvency Criminal Law
"Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell."
Frank Borman, October 18, 1982, Time Magazine
Corporate crises and insolvencies are part of business life. In 2017, more than 20,000 German companies filed for bankruptcy, illustrating how common entrepreneurial failure is. But normally the collapse of a company is not without repercussions: Insolvency and criminal law are closely intertwined. Insolvency files are submitted to the public prosecutor's office. Each year, the public prosecutor's office initiates approximately 14,000 preliminary proceedings solely on allegations of delaying the insolvency’s declaration (§ 15a InsO). Criminal insolvency proceedings involve both the risk of criminal sanctions and the danger of civil liability or serious professional consequences for those affected (e.g. prohibition of management and board activities). Criminal proceedings in this area are characterised by complex factual and legal issues which can only be successfully resolved with specialised knowledge of insolvency criminal law. Specific criminal law principles apply to the assessment of the occurrence of over-indebtedness and insolvency. Contrary to current practice, information provided by the insolvency debtor to the insolvency administrator is in fact prohibited from use in criminal proceedings pursuant to section 97 (1) sentence 3 InsO.
The lawyer Christof Püschel has extensive experience and expertise in criminal insolvency law. He supports and advises managing directors and companies. He defends the accused organisations and employees involved in preliminary proceedings, as well as tax advisors, lawyers and auditors who have come into the focus of the investigating authorities.