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Ex-WestLB Chief Settles Charges Over Box Clever Loan

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Former WestLB AG Chief Executive Officer Juergen Sengera settled charges in Germany that he approved a faulty loan to consumer-electronics company Box Clever.

Sengera agreed to pay 100,000 euros ($133,600) to charities to have the case dropped, the Dusseldorf Regional Court said in an e-mailed statement today. While the former bank executive was acquitted of the charges in 2008, Germany’s highest criminal court later overturned that decision on appeal and ordered a retrial.

The judges approved the settlement “mainly because the 70-year-old accused has no criminal record,” the court said in the statement. “He didn’t enrich himself. The action happened many years ago.”

Sengera was charged with breach of trust over WestLB’s approval in 1999 of a 1.35 billion-euro loan to Box Clever. The company, created by the merger of the television rental businesses of Nomura Holdings Inc. and Granada Plc, became insolvent in 2003, leading to losses at the bank of about 427 million euros, prosecutors have said.

Eberhard Kempf, who represented Sengera in the 2008 case, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Scinta at cscinta@bloomberg.net

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