May 16, 2024

Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office closes investigations in connection with Julius Meinl V and with Meinl European Land Limited

The Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office (“VPPO”) confirmed in a statement issued on 14 May 2024 that it has discontinued all criminal proceedings against Julius Meinl V and others on suspicion of commercial fraud to the detriment of investors in Meinl European Land (“MEL”).

Vienna Public Prosecutor's Office closes investigations in connection with Julius Meinl V and with Meinl European Land Limited

The Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office (“VPPO”) confirmed in a statement issued on 14 May 2024 that it has discontinued all criminal proceedings against Julius Meinl V and others on suspicion of commercial fraud to the detriment of investors in Meinl European Land (“MEL”).

According to the VPPO:

  • The case was closed because there was ultimately no evidence of intent to cause damage to investors’ assets or unlawful enrichment by the defendants.
  • It could not be refuted that the defendants themselves believed for a long time that MEL’s business model was a good and sustainably promising one and would therefore also be financially advantageous for the investors.

Specifically in relation to the repurchase of MEL certificates between February and August 2007, the VPPO stated that the directors of MEL could assume that they were authorised to make such purchases on the basis of the applicable provisions of Jersey law. Moreover, there was no evidence that the directors of MEL or any of the other defendants acted with the knowing intention of abusing their authority or that they seriously believed it to be possible their actions would be damaging to MEL’s assets.

The proceedings were initiated by the VPPO in 2008. Their statement confirmed that 16 years later, all lines of enquiry in connection with MEL have been concluded and that no further proceedings are pending with the VPPO.

In light of the statement by the VPPO, there are no continuing criminal proceedings in relation to MEL in Austria or in any other country.