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The Case Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck: How Mercedes-Benz Has Been Shaken By A Whistleblower’s Allegations

Corporate Crime in Germany: The Daimler AG Scandal

Updated: September 30, 2022

The Case Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck: How Mercedes-Benz Has Been Shaken By A Whistleblower’s Allegations

NEW YORK (RichTVX.com) — Crimes have been categorized as either mala in se, which means inherently wrong or intrinsically evil, or mala prohibita, which means offenses defined by legislatures as crimes. In the days since we first reported that the Daimler AG whistleblower had filed an explosive whistleblower disclosure*, the corporate world reacted with shock. Of course we also have to be fair and say that the current Mercedes-Benz Group AG CEO Ola Källenius had nothing to do with these incidents, since the previous Daimler AG management is responsible for the mess. The disclosure of the Daimler AG whistleblower — including supporting exhibits — was sent to several US government agencies, including the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. The Daimler AG Scandal series of the Rich TVX News Network looks at corporate crime in Germany, and gives a comprehensive review of one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. Although the United States of America, as a nation and as a crime control community, is making strides, there is still a long way to go — especially considering the exponential increase of the global marketplace, the world after the first wave of COVID-19. Corporate crime is not something unique to the United States. Current methods of corporate crime control have been overwhelmingly scrutinized and suggestions for improvement abound. In other parts of the world, corporate offending and corruption by corporate leaders occur more frequently and are less often detected and punished. In most developing countries, a majority of contracts are procured through bribery of government officials. This Rich TVX News Network bulletin is about a submission that spanned a long history of litigation in Hong Kong (the “Hong Kong Litigation”), dating back nearly three decades and still ongoing, between Daimler, as plaintiff, on the one hand, and Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck and IRC, a company he controlled, as defendants, during which litigation Daimler has at least twice bribed government officials to obtain favors and tainted “evidence” favorable to Daimler. Daimler officially changed its name to Mercedes-Benz this year, after splitting with its truck subsidiary in a major corporate shakeup.

The Daimler AG Scandal
The Daimler AG Scandal

Mercedes-Benz Group AG CEO Ola Källenius

Ola Källenius
Ola Källenius

The Russian Bribery

The whistleblower disclosure could have major ramifications for the Mercedes-Benz Group AG. According to TCR Section D-8: Facts Pertaining to Alleged Violation SEC document, in 1994, Daimler improperly obtained an injunction against one of the defendants in the Hong Kong Litigation, IRC, as well as Mr. Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck, who was the other defendant, based on false statements. Mr. Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck was the majority holder, with 99.998% of the issued shares, of IRC.  IRC and Mr. Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck did not learn of this impropriety until many years later, but when they did so, they sought damages for the improperly obtained Injunction. Mr. Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck sought the lost value of his shares in IRC as a result of being prevented from disposing or selling the shares as a result of the Injunction, and IRC sought loss of business profits or loss of value of its business. The 2018 bribery of Russian officials occurred in this context. In support of the damages claim, evidence was put forward on behalf of IRC and Mr. Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck to show that a Russian company, Stern Story Limited had intended to buy all or part of Mr. Leiduck’s shares in IRC in early 1994, before the Injunction was granted, but Stern Story withdrew its intention after the Injunction was granted, and as a result of the Injunction. Daimler claimed, however, that Stern Story was not incorporated until 2002. Mr. Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck passed away in early 2014, and the Hong Kong Litigation has proceeded through his son, as representative of his estate. Further evidence was put forward, in turn, on behalf of IRC and Mr. Leiduck that Stern Story did indeed exist in 1994. As we already reported, Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck was spending four years in prison even though he was innocent. He was imprisoned because a large German corporation perverted the course of justice by corrupt means, and despite being a wealthy man, Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck lost everything and died in abject poverty. A whole family was destroyed by these events, according to the leaked SEC documents filed against Daimler AG, (which changed its name to Mercedes-Benz Group AG this year).

The Case Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck
The Case Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck

The Previous Daimler AG Management Is Responsible For The Mess

Corporate Crime in Germany
Corporate Crime in Germany

Irina Has a History of Forging Documents

In the disclosure, the Daimler AG whistleblower claimed that a key piece of evidence in favor of Mr. Herbert Heinz Horst Leiduck and IRC was a letter from the Russian Ministry of Finance, Federal Tax Service, Inspectorate 25 in Moscow dated December 18, 2012, produced in fact by Daimler’s expert, saying that there were two documents in the registration file of Stern Story, a resolution dated November 25, 2002, and Articles of Association dated November 25, 2002. This supported the position that Stern Story was incorporated before 2002 because, according to Mr. Leiduck´s and IRC’s expert, registration of a new company in 2002 with only these two documents alone was not possible, as the registration file of an enterprise incorporated in 2002 would contain at least seven documents. Mr. Leiduck’s and IRC’s expert opined that this means that the registration file of Stern Story used to contain some earlier documents which were used as a basis for the enterprise`s incorporation registration. After a change in the law in 2002, old documents were archived. What was left in the registration file were documents required by the new law or documents drafted in accordance with the new law. In other words, the absence of a complete set of the at least seven documents required for incorporation showed that Stern Story was active and had been incorporated before 2002. In response to Mr. Leiduck’s and IRC’s expert, after originally submitting an expert report that referenced only the 2012 Letter, Daimler’s expert, in a rebuttal expert report served about 6 months after the original deadline for such a report, admitted that the registration file for a new company would generally include the seven documents referred to by Mr. Leiduck’s and IRC’s expert, but then he produced two letters from the tax authorities in Russia purportedly written on November 2, 2018 and December 6, 2018 which blatantly and inexplicably contradicted the 2012 Letter and said there were six, and then seven, documents in the registration file of Stern Story dating from 2002, in an attempt to rebut the expert’s explanation that the paucity in documents as reflected in the 2012 Letter showed that Stern Story had been in existence before 2002. The two 2018 letters were obtained through Irina A. M., who was apparently recommended by Daimler’s expert and directly engaged by Daimler. Irina has a history of forging documents. Given that the 2018 letters directly contradicted the 2012 Letter, Mr. Leiduck’s son and IRC hired an investigator to look into how the 2018 letters came to be obtained. That the 2018 letters were not genuine and obtained through bribery was implicitly confirmed by this investigation. Ofir I., a partner and Head of Operations of BICI, a business and intelligence agency that includes in its activities the undertaking of undercover investigations, conducted the investigation.

Mercedes-Benz Has Been Shaken
Mercedes-Benz Has Been Shaken

Irina Stated That Bribery Was Common at The Tax Authorities of Russia

Specifically, on September 23, 2021, Mr. Itskovitch, another investigator from BICI, Julia A., and Irina met in Chisinau, Moldova. During the meeting Irina confirmed that she had worked for “a major German car manufacturer” who has “a big lawsuit in Hong Kong” relating to issues going back to 1992, and that she was engaged by the manufacturer as an expert on “tax issue[s].” She confirmed that she helped the manufacturer to “quickly get what they want” from state authorities “in the form that they want.” She also disclosed that prior to the state authority answering the question from the manufacturer, she could “even coordinate the answer so that it’s what they want to submit to the court.” Irina further stated that the tax authorities formulated their responses in a complicated matter which could not always be understood, so there was a need to adjust the response from the tax authorities slightly to make their response appear to be more specific. She confirmed that she had been an employee of the tax authorities of Russia in the early 1990s, and went on that, through her connections, she could obtain clarification from the tax authorities which supported the opinion she wanted to obtain for her client. Irina stated that bribery was common at the tax authorities of Russia, and she presented the methods she used to obtain information from the Russian tax authorities, including by exploiting the greediness of officials, and providing a “stimulant.” She said that, when she was in the tax authority, “there were two options…either you take bribes, and then you are ‘good,’ or you do not take bribes, and then you are also not good.” As she put it, “To live with wolves means to howl like a wolf.” Irina further made clear that she has a practice of forging documents. In particular, she stated: I have a paper from 2011 at home, which, I mean, if I ever want to forge a document, I can use that paper…If you will do an [sic] forensic examination of the paper, it will show it’s a paper dating back to 2011, which means that the document was drawn up in 2011, 2011 or slightly later, but not the current year, and if you sign it with a capillary pen, you will never be able to identify the time. The only conclusions that can be drawn from Irina’s comments are that she, at the behest of Daimler and its lawyers bribed Russian tax authorities to obtain the 2018 letters and to “find” extra documents in Stern Story’s registration file in an attempt to disprove Mr. Leiduck’s and IRC’s theory of damages. *Disclaimer: The views expressed in the whistleblower documents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of Rich TVX News Network, or its management. All the charges are accusations of the whistleblower, according to the SEC Complaint documents, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.