TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Charities Eager for Ackermann Cash Jam Phone Lines

Charities Eager for Ackermann Cash Jam Phone Lines

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 04 Dec 2006 14:06:57 -0600

Dusseldorf (dpa) - A promise by a top banker in Germany to donate a
huge sum to charity to ward off conviction has led to a jammed
switchboard at the courthouse as non-profit groups vie for largesse.

A courts spokesman in the western city of Dusseldorf said Monday the
court server had also crashed as willing takers bombarded it with
e-mails or hunted online for information on where to claim the money.

Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann and five other
defendants promised last week to pay 5.8 million euros into court,
with 40 per cent reserved for charity and the rest to go to public
funds. Charges that they misappropriated funds in 2000 were dropped.

The spokesman said hundreds of applications for the 2.3 million euros
reserved for good causes had already been received.

"We're not counting them any more now," he said, appealing to charities
to send in application by post along with proof of non-profit status.
He said private individuals, no matter how deserving they claimed to
be, would not qualify.

Ackermann, one of Germany's best-paid employees, personally promised
3.2 million euros (4.2 million dollars) to the settlement. He and
prosecutors are allowed to nominate charities, with judges then to
decide on the recipients.

Prosecutors alleged that Ackermann, as a board member of phone company
Mannesmann, had no power to approve huge bonuses to retiring staff
when the wireless operator was taken over by Vodafone.

Copyright 2006 Reuters.

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