Ex-CEO of failed German retailer Arcandor to appeal against prison sentence

Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:25am EST
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Thomas Middelhoff, the former chief executive of defunct German retail group Arcandor, will appeal against a three year prison sentence, his lawyer told Reuters on Sunday, confirming a report by German weekly Bild am Sonntag.

Middelhoff, once one of Germany's most prominent and respected business leaders, was found guilty on 27 counts of embezzlement and three counts of tax evasion by a state court on Friday.

Middelhoff's conviction and jailing attracted widespread media attention as he has been depicted as a symbol of executive greed in a country where the pay gap between workers and managers has widened dramatically in recent years.

The 61-year-old was ordered to be taken straight to jail -- an unusual decision -- because the judge ruled there was a risk he might try to flee to France, where he has a residence.

"I undertake all efforts to get Middelhoff out of custody," Middelhoff's lawyer Winfried Holtermueller told Reuters.

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Mark Potter)

Former CEO of Arcandor Thomas Middelhoff reacts as he listens to his verdict at the regional court in Essen November 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Ina Fassbender