Criminal insolvency law

Criminal liability risks during a corporate crisis

A company’s economic crisis not only poses a financial threat to employees, shareholders and management, but also harbors risks related to criminal liability.
The opening of insolvency proceedings entails a routine check by the public prosecutor’s office to determine whether there are any indications that insolvency has been delayed. Often, after a rough examination, criminal proceedings are initiated that can drag on for a long time and become a burden for the management level of the company.
In averting criminal and extra-criminal consequences in criminal insolvency proceedings, H2W has many years of experience and economic expertise to get you through a corporate crisis as unscathed as possible.

Preliminary consultation: New rules during the coronavirus pandemic – effectively countering uncertainties

As part of a legislative package to combat the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bundestag decided on March 25, 2020 to extend the obligation for companies to file for insolvency until September 30, 2020.

While this measure reduces the risk of criminal liability for delaying insolvency, the typical accompanying offenses such as non-payment of social security contributions or bankruptcy are not automatically included. We would be happy to advise you to clear up any ambiguities and prevent risks.

Consequences of a conviction: Exclusion from management activity

The investigations regularly focus on the company’s managing directors and management bodies. In the event of conviction, you are threatened with being excluded from management and board positions for a period of five years (Section 6 GmbHG, Section 76 AktG).

This risk to your further professional career must be countered by an early and committed defense.

The central issue: Insolvency or over-indebtedness

The central issue in criminal insolvency law is the company’s insolvency or over-indebtedness. The legal and economic elucidation of these terms is complex and requires expertise and experience in dealing with the investigative authorities and methods.
In selected cases, we work together with renowned insolvency law experts to supplement our competencies so that we can represent and defend your interests across all legal areas in a corporate crisis.

Typical accompanying offenses: Evasion of social security contributions, bankruptcy

The allegation of delaying insolvency is typically accompanied by allegations of non-payment of social security contributions and bankruptcy.

The suspicion of a bankruptcy offense can arise from payments in the period of the (assumed) insolvency or the delayed preparation of annual financial statements.

The late payment of health insurance contributions is sufficient for the assumed evasion of social security contributions – it is often the social security agencies that initiate insolvency proceedings with a corresponding application.

The typical offenses accompanying the delay in insolvency can also lead to exclusion of the company management above a certain level as punishment and require a professional defense.