When a money crisis overwhelmed the German brothers Alexander and Konstantin von Bienenstam, Ireland became a beacon of hope for their financial salvation.
Ryland’s old bankruptcy laws were completely overhauled in 2015, reducing the process typically from three years to a year, while it involves silently bankrupting EU citizens back home from the glare of publicity. There is also the added attraction of being able to.
In 2005, the von Bienenstam siblings from Frankfurt founded a restaurant chain called Cuisine of Asia.
As of 2015, it was flourishing, with 17 outlets serving hundreds of hungry diners every day. That year, the brothers sold a majority stake in the business to an investor, and largely withdrew from the chain, which filed for bankruptcy in October 2019.
In the meantime, von Bienstams had branched out with a different business. In early 2019, he founded Papa Napoli Pizza Outlet in Frankfurt.
But then came Kovid, which ruined the food service sector.
The brothers turned to the law firm Kanjale Rieger & Partners to discuss their options.
In mid-August 2020, as the pandemic raged, Pascal Verbreken of Kanjle Rieger & Partners used an entity linked to the law firm to set up an Irish company – initially with an address in an apartment in Dublin city centre. – which is called alecon. Its address was later moved to Tullow Street in downtown Carlo – a hub on which more than 70 businesses registered by firms affiliated with Kanjlei Rieger & Partners are based.
Kanzlei Rieger & Partner uses two firms controlled by their principals – DPCE Consulting Europe Ltd in Cyprus and VR Bookkeeping Ltd in Ireland – to establish firms legitimately in Ireland for clients.
On the same day Alekon was founded by the DPCE, the two von Bienenstam brothers were appointed directors of the firm. The residential address for both was given as Ullard Holiday Homes in Kilkenny – a client of dozens of other German law firms list as their home addresses.
Last November, the brothers – by then apparently living in two flats in Dublin above a small row of shops that housed government-funded local employment services – declared bankruptcy in Ireland.
In March of this year, filings at the Company Registration Office (CRO) submitted by Kanjale Rieger showed that the brothers had resigned as directors of Alecon. On the same day, Sandra von Bienenstam was appointed a director, whose address was given as Ullard Holiday Homes. According to German company filings, he is also involved in the Papa Napoli business in Frankfurt.
Irish bankruptcy is also very, very debtor-friendly in itself.
A German citizen who went bankrupt in Ireland in 2021 spoke to him Irish independent earlier this year. He explained how bankruptcy in Germany can make someone handicapped.
“You’ve been stigmatized your whole life,” he said. “It’s like being a killer.”
Cornelius Rieger and Pascal Verbracken of Kanjale Rieger & Partners – who present themselves as insolvency experts – insist that all of their clients who are directors of companies in Ireland, avoid bankruptcy or take advantage of other insolvency resolutions. are not here for
talking to Irish independent This week, Mr Rieger – who declined to name any clients or how much assistance the firm has assisted – claimed that many of them are coming to Ireland to set up businesses and set up limited companies. which offer advantages over the standard GmbH business vehicle. which is used in Germany.
“Ireland is the first country they rely on,” he said of the reason why Germans choose to choose Ireland to go bankrupt or set up a business.
“They know it from commercials. When they think of Ireland, they’re thinking of good TV shows, they’re thinking of good meat, good butter. And if your country has good If you have food, you get a lot of confidence.
“Irish bankruptcy is also very, very debtor-friendly,” Mr. Rieger noted in a video posted to YouTube last year, and for which the online platform provides a translation. He points out that bankruptcy in Ireland involves debts involving legal claims.
“That means claims from a criminal offense … or tax evasion or other criminal offences,” he says, describing Ireland as “absolute number one” in the EU for bankruptcy.
“You are really taken by the hand,” he says, “in Ireland, you can get the so-called second chance.”
Asked how dozens of German directors are staying at one address in a small holiday home complex in Kilkenny, Kok, Mr. Rieger said clients usually live in a shared apartment with six or seven beds, for a few weeks ahead. Live there before moving on. other location.
“We are only using this apartment for the first move for our clients,” he said, and that they move into their own apartment “after a couple of weeks”.
“We don’t overload it,” he says.
A local source in Co Kilkenny said they have met Germans who actually live on the premises. However, it is understood that only 16 individual units are involved in the development.
Formerly owned by the late billionaire developer Liam Carroll, he once planned to build a large hotel and convention center on the site. Later controlled by Nama, it was sold to a local businessman at a BidX auction in 2018, it is understood.
“Clients are calling us and want to open a company in Ireland, want to live in Ireland, and you know how hard it is to find an apartment [in Ireland] From Germany,” says Mr. Rieger.
But months later, and in some cases years later, most Irish firms founded by units of the German law firm still list directors living on the Ullard Holiday Homes premises.
Mr. Rieger stressed that this is often because the change of address is made only when the annual return is submitted to the company registration office.
“We’re not doing this for our customers,” Mr. Rieger said. “We’re Helping Them Set Up, We’re Helping With PPS”
[Personal Public Service Number],
They say it is the law firm’s professional partners in Ireland that handle the change of address and other administrative tasks.
However, the change of residential address of the Director may be notified at any time without waiting for submission of annual return and the change of residential address under law must be notified to the CRO within 14 days of the change of address.
Company filings show several instances where change of directors or change in director’s details have been submitted to CRO by Kanjlei Rieger & Partner firms.
Mr Rieger says Ireland is an attractive place for German citizens to set up a company because of the low cost and capital requirements as well as how quickly it can be done here.
Among the clients the law firm has recently helped set up a company here is Katharina Ebert. His firm, Estella Projects, was founded in March in Co Carlow, with VR Bookkeeping Services as its secretary and Ms. Ebert as a director.
Ms Ebert is a member of the Social Democratic Party in Germany, which governs there as a coalition partner, and in 2018 lost a bid to be elected mayor of the district of Darmstadt-Dieburg, south of Frankfurt.
Estella Projects lists its residential address as being in Mühteltal in Germany, which is in Darmstadt-Dieburg.
Ms Ebert did not respond to an email and text message Irish independent To ask him why he had founded the Irish Company.
Mr Rieger declined to confirm whether he was a customer.
He said many of the firm’s clients who set up business in Ireland create jobs here.
“A lot of our customers have employees – Irish people, quite a few,” he says. “We have people who are consultants, builders, hair stylists or clothing designers.”
But many Irish companies, whose clients are directors, show very little activity.
German lawyer and motivational speaker Marcus Mingers – well known in his country – is among those who have flirted with Irish companies.
He was the director of Irish company Greatie It Europe, which was founded in 2020 by VR Bookkeeping Services in the city of Carlo.
His home address was listed as Ullard Holiday Homes and he was the director of Greatie It from 2020 until last summer. A query sent to them through their website did not elicit any response.
Although some Germans are using Irish firms to conduct their business affairs legally here and elsewhere, it is certain that many are establishing themselves here with a view to pursuing bankruptcy resolution.
According to Mr. Rieger, “What we are doing is to find people in a country where they can move easily and rapidly.” “Most are insolvent or not insolvent. Most want to do business. Ireland is just a country for us.”