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K1 ponzi scheme suspect commits suicide

AFP · 6 Jul 2010, 16:40

Published: 06 Jul 2010 16:40 GMT+02:00

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The 72-year-old managing director of the K1 group shot himself in his villa on the Spanish island of Majorca on Saturday.

"He put a bullet through his head when he saw the police coming to arrest him," said a police officer. "He fell into the water."

Frerichs' house was on a rocky ledge overlooking the sea.

The alleged K1 ponzi scheme is thought to have run into hundreds of millions of euros and has been likened to the Madoff scandal in the United States.

The hedge fund group was registered in the British Virgin Islands. It had attracted the attention of Germany's financial sector watchdog BaFin since June 2004.

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German lawyer Klaus Nieding told AFP in October he feared a "new Madoff case," saying: "Estimations of damages run from €500 million to €1 billion, of which half involves institutional investors."

The French bank BNP Paribas is among the investors concerned and an investigation has also begun in the United States.

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Your comments about this article

23:40 July 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Good. Now nobody gets their money back.
10:23 July 7, 2010 by wood artist
prufrock, sometimes you really baffle me. Regardless of the man's guilt, which now seems evident, I fail to see how "nobody gets their money back" is a positive outcome. Obviously you didn't lose any money with this guy, nor did I, but some people did (or will) and it may represent their only income for retirement or perhaps the education for their children. Exactly how is this a good thing...for anybody?

13:26 July 7, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
Well, wood artist, perhaps he sees it as I do. That if you made an illegal investment , shouldn't there be consequences? Or do you think that these were the saved pennies of a bunch of poor old ladies that were swindled of their life savings? I do not feel sorry for greedy rich people trying to game the system by breaking laws. Suicide seems to be a definite act of guilt to me...
15:16 July 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
wa --

When I wrote "good" I was making a comment that I'm glad the scumbag offed himself. When I wrote "now nobody gets their money back" I was being sardonic. If I had intended the two thoughts to be conjunctive, i would have separated them with a comma rather than a period.

For clarity, I'm glad he's dead and I'm distressed that in all probability the people and institutions he swindled will never get their money back.

Sorry for the confusion.
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