Saxony-Anhalt's lottery boss does not testify
Last year there was an uproar because of a Lottery headquarters in Zerbst. This branch had unusually high stakes and also unusually high profits. The suspicion quickly arose that something was wrong here and that some of the activities involved were illegal. The investigations that had started last year had to be interrupted at short notice. But now the investigation continues.
Lotto bosses were summoned for interrogation
The ones in 2020 incumbent lottery bosses Maren Sieb and Ralf von Einem were dismissed last year. This was in response to the criminal activities that were alleged as a result of the incidents. Now both have been summoned for interrogation. A big question arose regarding Ms. Sieb's position: How and why did she get the job? According to her own statement, she did not need to present any special skills and knowledge to get the post. In addition, she was recruited in 2012 by thethen Secretary of State for the Interior, Ulf Gundlach. At that time he was state secretary for Holger Stahlknecht.
Basically, these facts were the only thing that Ms. Sieb said. She refused any further statements. Herr von Einem did the same and also gave no further information on the record. For this reasonno important facts could be obtained how the big players from Zerbst came about.
Stahlknecht was also questioned and could remember even fewer details. He couldn't even remember when Frau Sieb took over the post of head of the lottery. In order to unravel this dubious procedure,Tiemo Kracht was also interviewed. This is the HR manager. He pointed out that not having a university degree is no reason not to get the post of managing director.
Since the investigations have not been able to clarify the processes so far, they are leaving investigations continue. More people will be interviewed in a few days. Ms. Sieb's husband could possibly be summoned for interrogation. He had designedindividual software for the lottery office in Zerbst. It still has to be clarified whether there is a connection with the high deposit amounts.
In the last few years, nine players had deposited more than 100,000 euros within a few monthsmehr als 100.000 Euro eingezahlt. These were primarily wagers. Such sums are more than unusual and it didn't take long for accusations of money laundering to arise. The business duo, on the other hand, still insists that they reported the events. However, there is no proof of this.
It seems odd in general that it has taken so long for a committee of inquiry to be set up at all. After all,Lotto Bayern and Lotto Niedersachsen in 2018 had expressed the suspicion that something was wrong here. When Lotto Sachsen-Anhalt suggested checking the processes, the matter initially fizzled out.
Subsidies should become more transparent
The scandal in Zerbst naturally has wider circles. TheThuringian Court of Auditors has campaigned for greater transparency. In this context, the focus is primarily on lottery funding. According to the Gambling Act, these must be used for certain areas. It is unclear whether these requirements will be implemented. In order to prevent further scandals like the one in Zerbst, the allocation of funds should be published.
So far it has only been said that the funding will be awarded to cultural, social, environmental activist and sporting authorities. With regard to the lottery office in Zerbst, however, it is said that the funding was awarded to other offices. Maren sieve shouldhave paid out the grants against advertising orders. For this reason, a criminal complaint was filed against the former lottery boss. Content of the criminal complaint: suspicion of embezzlement.
Interestingly enough, the funding from Lotto Sachsen-Anhaltwas given primarily to the handball club SC Magdeburg. Ms. Sieb is a board member in this association. However, the funding could only be awarded because the supervisory board agreed to it. It must be clarified here whether he was not performing his duties to a sufficient extent.
Statement of Lotto Sachsen-Anhalt
Apart from the witness interviews of former employees, the current supervisory board ofLotto Sachsen-Anhalt issued a statement. Admittedly, this statement dates back a few years. The supervisory board has promised to let Lotto Sachsen-Anhalt look reliable again. For this reason, the committee was founded, which consists of the gaming supervisory authority of the Ministry of the Interior, the shareholders and the management of Lotto Sachsen-Anhalt.
In addition to the charge of suspected embezzlement, there were also the points of nepotism, money laundering and illegal granting of subsidies. First and foremost it affected the branch in Zerbst, in which extremely large sums were paid. At the same time, very large sums of money were paid out – the perfect procedure for money laundering. At that time there was anew boss at Oddset. Here, too, the question arises to what extent this was involved.
After these events, the branch in Zerbst was closed relatively quickly. Then it happened in quick succession: Maren Sieb was charged and suspended from her job. Shortly thereafter, the termination without notice was pronounced.