Siemens Probe Widens

The missing money at Siemens just seems to keep getting bigger and bigger.

Reuters reports the Munich state prosecutor as investigating the disappearance of about 200 million euros from Siemens’ accounts in cases of suspected fraud at the German industrial conglomerate.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement it had detained six people in connection with the matter and was questioning them on whether they had worked together to move Siemens money illegally into foreign accounts.

“According to the information it has so far, the prosecutor assumes that the suspects in detention joined forces to perpetrate fraud to the detriment of Siemens by creating illegal accounts abroad,” the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor’s office said it still did not know the whereabouts of the 200 million euros.

Siemens, which has said it was cooperating fully with the investigation as a witness, had said initially that the sum involved was at least 20 million euros. German media reported at the weekend that the sum was at least 100 million euros.

The prosecutor said raids on Siemens sites and homes of staff it began on Nov. 15 were at an end for the time being.

It seized or confiscated between 200 and 300 files containing documents relating to current business and about 36,000 archive files, as well as a substantial amount of other data, it said, adding that the documents and data now had to be assessed by Bavaria’s state office of criminal investigation.

During the raids, investigators entered the offices of Siemens Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld and numerous employees connected with Siemens’ telecoms unit, Com.

Both the prosecutor and Siemens said Kleinfeld could be a witness but was not a suspect.

The prosecutor’s office said it would have no further information to make public before the week beginning on December 4.