City councillor Manuel Brandenberg under increasing pressure
As previously reported, it has been alleged that the Roths Invest Asset Management AG company of Zug, has been involved in the misappropriation of some EUR 250 million.
The vice-chairman of the said company is Manuel Brandenburg, who remains a Zug city councillor and president of the cantonal SVP party, despite calls for him to step down, at least until his name has been cleared.
Since the news of the alleged misappropriation came to light, the normally ebullient Brandenberg has been strangely quiet. However, he has now written a letter to the Neue Zuger Zeitung which was sent by registered mail.
In the letter, which was also signed by his father Ernst A.Brandenberg and Klosters-resident Nathan Rothschild (the chairman of the board of Roths Invest Asset Management AG company), Brandenberg junior points out that the alleged EUR 250 million was never transferred to the company at all. He claimed that it was not the company which was responsible but the former director Robert Da Ponte, "who, behind the back of the board, and by misusing the name Rothschild, acted in a fraudulent way in Italy".
If this is the case, the question naturally arises as to how such a major fraud could have happened "without the knowledge of the board". It seems this will be a matter for the Zug courts, if Italian investors who have lost their money take legal action. These may claim the board failed execute its duties properly.
The Neue Zuger Zeitung would like to emphasise that presumption of innocence should prevail in this issue, as no one is being investigated, as far as they know.
However, now there is a Spanish connection to the saga. It seems Da Ponte's dealings came to light after the Swiss Federal Office of Police froze all the accounts of the TMS Group AG, another company not only based in Zug but, as with Roths Invest Asset Management AG company, headquartered in Brandenberg's offices at 9 Poststrasse. According to the Companies' Register, Manuel Brandenberg was also on the board of the TMS Group, though he resigned immediately after the Swiss Federal Office of Police began their investigations. Was business in this case also done "behind the backs of the board"?
It appears the accounts of the TMS Group were frozen at the request of the Spanish Customs, on account of illicit money being used in relation to property purchases in Valencia and Tuscany.
According to the renowned newpaper "Die Zeit", the freezing of the assets of the TMS Group caused great panic among the board of the Roths Invest Asset Management company, when they realised "double bookkeeping" had been going on. It was only days after the accounts at the TMS Group were frozen that the first Italians arrived in Zug with Roths Invest Asset Management certificates asking for their money.
The Neue Zuger Zeitung would like to know how Brandenberg reacted.