Toilet queen caught ‘up to knees in tips’

A German toilet attendant faces tax evasion charges after investigators found her garage was knee-deep in €40,000 worth of small change.

Toilet queen caught 'up to knees in tips'
Photo: DPA

Investigators looking into whether the unnamed 53-year-old was dodging tax payments opened her garage door in Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, to see it piled high with one, two, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins, the Express reported on Thursday.

The woman has been charged with 12 counts of tax evasion.

Adding up to over €40,000 and weighing 1.4 tonnes, the money was reportedly tips gathered by her 60-strong team of toilet attendants.

Despite guests tending to drop mere cents as a thank you, employees allegedly had to pay their toilet-baron boss €50 per day from their tips. Investigators heard how she would cruise across the country in a Mercedes collecting it, leaving loos with buckets full of change.

The find at her house was just a fraction of her earnings, according to prosecutors. They found that between 2005 and 2010 she should have paid €550,000 in income and VAT, for which she could face a year in prison for avoiding, as well as a fine.

According to the Express, the woman would put the coins through a machine at home which sorted them into rolls for the bank. This was until it broke, leaving her with ever-growing piles of change.

Life looked rosy for the business woman, who had bought herself an expensive house with the cleaning-company cash. However, the bubble burst when she had an argument with an employee.

The pair started fighting in a toilet, prompting onlookers to call the police. When officers arrived alarm bells rang about how her attendant-empire, which had been running since 2004, functioned. A full investigation followed, which led prosecutors to the woman’s house.

The Local/jcw

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Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.