AvCraft CEO Arrested for Alleged Tax Evasion

 - April 16, 2007, 7:07 AM

German police arrested AvCraft Aviation CEO Ben Bartel last Wednesday at Frankfurt International Airport for tax evasion. Bartel, architect of a failed attempt to resurrect Germany’s Fairchild Dornier from bankruptcy, allegedly evaded €7 million ($8.53 million) in taxes through a fictitious transaction in the Cayman Islands. Munich chief prosecutor Ruediger Hödl told AIN that he hasn’t yet indicted Bartel, but continues to hold him as a suspect. He further explained that German law prevented him from divulging details of the case at this early stage. During last year’s Farnborough Air Show, Bartel freely admitted he established a company in the Caymans specifically to buy 12 used Dornier 328 turboprops from Fairchild Dornier bankruptcy administrators and lend the tax-free proceeds to AvCraft’s manufacturing plant in Germany. At the time Bartel said his lawyers assured him of the scheme’s legality. AvCraft also manufactures the Envoy 3, a corporate shuttle version of the 328JET regional airliner.