Manwin Chief Extradited, Hears Charges
Published on December 14th, 2012 02:47 PM
YNOT – After extradition from Belgium on Thursday, Fabian Thylmann, managing partner of adult internet conglomerate Manwin, has faced a judge in Germany to hear the charges against him. The outcome of the hearing is unclear, as prosecutors in Cologne declined to comment about the case, according to the Associated Press.
Thylmann, 34, is a German citizen who lives in Brussels, where he was arrested last week on accusations of tax evasion. The warrant that led to his arrest and the seizure of presumed evidence from his home originated with prosecutors in Cologne. According to the AP, Thylmann has remained in custody — first in Belgium and now in Germany — since being taken into custody. He did not fight extradition to Germany, the AP said.
Thylmann’s arrest followed a Dec. 4 raid on the Hamburg offices of Manwin Germany GmbH. During a coordinated effort, “several dozen” German officers confiscated “numerous” computers and documents. At the same time, officials searched Thylmann’s residence in a Brussels suburb.
Manwin Germany GmbH is one of more than 35 subsidiaries of Luxembourg-based Manwin Holdings Sarl. In addition to the Hamburg facility, the parent company also maintains offices and/or studios in Burbank, Calif.; Dublin; London; Montreal, and Nicosia, Cyprus. Manwin Holdings owns thousands of websites which it claims receive millions of hits daily, plus several adult-content production studios. Additionally, Manwin Holdings operates Playboy television properties under a licensing agreement with the iconic Los Angeles-based adult brand.
According to German daily newspaper Die Welt, German developed suspicions about Thylmann’s tax status after becoming aware of an exposé Die Welt intended to publish in a September issue of its Sunday newsmagazine, Welt am Sonntag. The article reportedly revealed “irregularities in the company’s structure” that could have given rise to a tax investigation. Thylmann sought and received a preliminary injunction against the article’s publication. Die Welt has petitioned the court to overturn the injunction. A decision in the matter is expected Dec. 19.
Manwin remains silent about the situation.