November 16, 2014 / 10:28 AM / in 3 years

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

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.

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

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

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