Andy GroschCEO of beleaguered German media fund VIP, made a defiant defence ofhis company at the Screen International Europe Film Finance Summit, shruggingoff a new lawsuit being prepared against the company as pure nonsense. Eventhough his business partner Andreas Schmid has beenin custody on charges of tax evasion since Sept 29,and the Bremen lawfirm KTAG isplanning to make a multi-million dollar claim against VIP on behalf of 70 investors, Grosch was insistent that his company still has a future.
'We will definitely go onwith the business one way or another,' Grosch stated.He revealed that despite its on-going difficulties, VIP is hatching new schemes.
Grosch predicted that the criminalcharges against VIP will be history in a short while andexpressed his bafflement that Schmid was still incustody.
'I don't understand it, thelawyers don't understand it, but it presumably has to do with the amount ofmoney we are talking about. We have in total raised in the past three yearsroughly $1 billion. It has been claimed that, contrary to the procedure set outin the fund prospectuses and in tax returns, only a fraction of the Euros 235mand Euros 392m collected from investors for VIP3 and VIP4 was actually invested infilm production. The lion's share of these funds' monies was allegedly "parked"in accounts at the Dresdner and HVB banks.'
The VIP boss insisted the companyhad acted in accordance with what it believed to be the law. 'Up to thismoment, I do not know what we did wrong,' he stated. 'The point of view of theGovernment changed due to a very simple fact they need money.' He was openlydismissive of the case brought against VIP by KTAG, dismissing thelawyers as ambulance chasers. 'It is part of the business,' he continued. 'Ifyou swim in the water with sharks, you have to know there are sharks and theseguys are sharks.'