Pale and battered: Alfons Schuhbeck appears in court for the first time

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Pale and battered
Alfons Schuhbeck appears in court for the first time

The allegations against Alfons Schuhbeck weigh heavily: he is said to have smuggled more than 2.3 million euros past the tax authorities. That is why the star chef now has to answer to the court. If convicted, he could even face jail time.

Accompanied by much media hype, the trial of star chef Alfons Schuhbeck has begun in the Munich I Regional Court. The prosecutor accuses the 73-year-old of tax evasion in the millions. If the charges are confirmed, he could end up in jail. Because according to a decision of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), a prison sentence without probation is usually threatened from an amount of one million.

Schuhbeck appeared at the start of the trial in a white shirt and dark blue jacket. He looked pale and battered as he entered the courtroom with his two lawyers and faced the cameras. He himself only confirmed his name, profession and the names of his parents, but did not comment further.

The public prosecutor accuses the 73-year-old Schuhbeck of smuggling income past the tax authorities with a computer program. In total, this concerns more than 2.3 million euros in taxes, which Schuhbeck would have evaded in 25 cases between 2009 and 2016.

Schuhbeck ensures cooperation


Schuhbeck came to court with his two lawyers Sascha König (left) and Markus Gotzens.

(Photo: photo alliance/dpa)

The man who, according to the public prosecutor, would have developed this program, is on trial together with Schuhbeck. He is charged with complicity in tax evasion. He admitted the allegations early in the trial and made a confession through his lawyer. He stated that Schuhbeck had commissioned him to develop the tool. He did this because he was economically dependent on him.

When the investigations against him became known three years ago, Schuhbeck said: “I will work very closely and very openly with the authorities to refute all allegations.” He “answers the authorities to all questions”.

“Doubts and Inconsistencies”

Schuhbeck’s lawyers made it clear at the beginning of the trial that they saw “doubts and inconsistencies” in the charges against their client. Lawyer Sascha König added: “At the end of the proceedings, it may turn out that Mr. Schuhbeck is not the perpetrator, but the victim himself, because not only the tax authorities, but above all he has been defrauded.”

Schuhbeck’s lawyers do not deny that revenue has been lost and taxes evaded. However, they emphasize that there is no indication or evidence that the restorer even touched the cash register. In addition, the researchers had no answer as to where the millions in cash should have gone, which would have reduced Schuhbeck’s income.

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