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Austrian banking scion suspected of fraud

Julius Meinl V, the scion of a Viennese business dynasty, is due to be released from jail today after raising a €100 million bail. Formal charges have not been brought, but he stands accused of a €3 billion fraud a company linked to the family according to the New York Times.

Prosecutors accuse Meinl of artificially bolstering shares of the real estate company Meinl European Land, which is listed on the Vienna stock exchange, whose share price has been on the slide. According to the paper, a lawyer for Meinl said his client rejects all the accusations.

The Meinl dynasty dates back 143 years to when Julius Meinl I opened a coffee roasting shop and a grocer’s shop in Vienna. Julius Meinl II established a credit cooperative in the 1920s that was entitled to accept, pay interest on and manage savings deposits at its branches.

Meinl Bank was created by the merger of this cooperative with Bankhaus Brunner & Co in 1979. Julius Meinl V took the helm in 1983 with a vision of transforming it into a private and investment bank based on the Anglo-Saxon model. Today, it is one of Austria’s largest private banks.

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