Unusual sentencing comes as judge expressed fears that Thomas Middelhoff might flee
German businessman Thomas Middelhoff, former CEO of media powerhouse Bertelsmann, was convicted of embezzlement and tax evasion in Germany Friday, according to a Reuters report.
The judge expressed concern that Middelhoff might flee and ordered that police transport the executive to jail immediately to begin a three-year sentence.
Middelhoff, who also ran retailer Arcandor, became a symbol of excessive executive spending in Germany. The media mogul traveled by private jet more than 600 times during his tenure at Arcandor and charged his employer for two-thirds of those flights. He also billed his employer tens of thousands of Euros for private helicopter flights unrelated to business. His sentencing marks a steep fall for a man who was once one of Germany’s most visible business leaders.