The warrant, issued last week, lists 41 criminal allegations against Wolfgang Stolzenberg, owner of Castor Holdings Ltd., a Montreal-based holding company and real estate lender.
Police are expected to announce that an international warrant is also being issued against Mr. Stolzenberg
.The 59-year-old businessman is believed to be living in Darmstadt, Germany.There is no extradition treaty between Canada and Germany. Castor
filed for bankruptcy in 1992 with more than $1.6-billion owing, mostly to pension funds and banks.
A civil case against Coopers & Lybrand, Castor's auditors, is continuing.In a series of related lawsuits, investors are seeking to recoup more than $1-billion, alleging that audited statements misrepresented the financial health of the company.
...Noting that the 41 counts of fraud pertain only to Canadian firms, Haccoun said that "there is more to come" in the way of criminal charges against Stolzenberg, a former German banker with a penchant for pricey European cars and the high life of an international financier.
...Montreal lawyer Leonard Flanz, whose firm represents 25 Canadian and European investors, yesterday welcomed the latest news about Stolzenberg.
Creditors claim those loans had been made mainly to companies secretly controlled either directly or indirectly by Stolzenberg
Unpaid interest, creditors say, was capitalized on the books as increases in existing loans or new loans, making Castor look as though it was prospering even though it was really technically insolvent for the three years leading up to its bankruptcy.
Two of the 41 charges allege that Stolzenberg
conspired to commit fraud with named and unnamed individuals.
From all reports, Stolzenberg
cut the kind of establishment figure that could persuade sophisticated investors on both sides of the Atlantic to hand him hundreds of millions.
Tall and distinguished-looking, he
made frequent flights to the centres of high finance in Europe in a $22-million private jet. He
knew the language and mores of the financial elite, and that allowed him to arrange loans from German, Swiss, Irish and Canadian banks, pension funds and other financial institutions, and from wealthy individuals in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Stolzenberg
, a secretive workaholic, used a maze of numbered companies and offshore tax havens such as Curacao and Cyprus
to build the empire he
controlled from Castor's head office on McGill College Ave.
But Stolzenberg's fall from grace came quickly after Castor
suddenly declared bankruptcy in 1992.Creditors seized more than $10 million in personal and business assets in 1992.Those assets included his
Westmount mansion, three downtown penthouses, a Mercedes-Benz sedan and a Porsche Turbo sports car.Stolzenberg
also maintained homes in London and the U.S. at the time. The Swiss bank
that was financing his
jet quickly grounded Stolzenberg
by repossessing the aircraft, a move that drew a furious response from the financier.
Bankruptcy trustees found empty filing cabinets when they entered Castor's offices in the wake of the bankruptcy, and in a 1992 lawsuit, trustee Richter & Partners sued Stolzenberg
for $25 million, alleging he
made several lucrative and illegal transactions for personal gain in the months before the bankruptcy.
With files from CP, The Montreal Gazette
, and the Globe and Mail
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