Around 600 people unknowingly deposited in the hoax bank, entrusting him with a total of 1.7 million Euros ($1.8 million). Prosecutors accused Fitzek of embezzling 1.3 million Euros for personal use. (Image source: Abbey Rot, YouTube) Photograph: (Others)
The self-proclaimed "King of Germany" was sentenced to three years and eight months of imprisonment Wednesday.
Peter Fizek was found guilty of setting up an illegal bank and misappropriating 1.3 million Euros in deposits. His bank ran for four years from 2009 to 2013.
Around 600 people unknowingly deposited in the hoax bank, entrusting him with a total of 1.7 million Euros ($1.8 million). Prosecutors accused Fitzek of embezzling 1.3 million Euros for personal use.
Fitzek had positioned his so-called "kingdom" on the site of a former hospital in the eastern city of Wittenberg in 2012 and crowned himself monarch.
Peter Fitzek's movement claims with 3,100 members, its own currency, a social security along with the bank (Youtube, Abbey Rot) (Others)
Sentencing Fitzek to three years and eight months in prison, presiding judge Ursula Mertens noted that no legitimate accounting exists of the sums managed by Fitzek.
“Over the years, you’ve muddled along and taken a lot of money,” said Mertens.
“Your investors now have nothing because nothing was hedged,” she added.
Dressed in a blue shirt with a logo of his “kingdom”, Fitzek interrupted the sentencing, screaming “joke”, “scandal” and “lies”. (AFP)
Dressed in a blue shirt with a logo of his “kingdom”, Fitzek interrupted the sentencing, screaming “joke”, “scandal” and “lies”. About 20 of his “subjects” who were following the proceedings also started hooting. One man was eventually escorted out of the courtroom. Fitzek professed that he had spent the missing funds for the betterment of his community.
But Mertens retorted: “You, Mr Fitzek, have done nothing for the common good. You have used the money on yourself.”
Fitzek has been convicted several times, including for driving without a licence. He argued that his kingdom had issued him the permit. He has also been arrested for illegally running a health insurance agency.
On his website, koenigreichdeutschland.org Fitzek says he has also issued his own currency since 2007 called Engelgeld (Angel Money).
The kingdom naturally had its own currency, the so-called angel money. On the front is a living tree, while on the back a coat of arms is decorated with sun symbols and decorated with a crown (Photo: Website of Konigliche Reichsbank) (Others)
Germany’s domestic intelligence service consider Fitzek as a conspirator of the far-right “Reichsbuerger” or “Citizens of the Reich” movement which objects the legitimacy of the German republic.
Once dismissed simply as lunatics, the Reichsbuerger movement is being seen as an increasing threat after members opened fire on police forces in recent months.
Domestic intelligence service chief Hans-Georg Maassen has said the “Reichsbuerger scene” of activists and sympathisers was now thought to number about 10,000, including 500-600 right-wing extremists and 700 with gun licences. Fitzek denies being part of the movement.
Before dubbing himself the "King of Germany," Peter Fitzek trained as a cook.
(WION with input from agencies)
Peter Fitzek was found guilty of setting up an illegal bank and misappropriating 1.3 million Euros