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Child prodigy, bankrupt, financial juggler: this is how Lars Windhorst built his opaque business empire

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Lars Windhorst is a businessman and Chairman of Tennor Holding.

Windei, wunderkind, young entrepreneur, financial genius, gambler, dandruff, bankrupt, gambler, manhunter: these are just some of the terms that Lars Windhorst has already described by the media and business partners. The man, who at the age of 45 has already had two bankruptcies and a personal bankruptcy behind him and yet always seems to get up again, is considered one of the most controversial entrepreneurs in Germany. He became known in the 1990s as a business prodigy who was personally encouraged by former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

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After an impressive roller coaster ride, the investor joined Hertha BSC in 2019, so far he has invested €374 million in the Bundesliga and thus secured 66.6 percent of the Berlin football club. But where do the millions for this investment come from? The money for this came from his group of companies called Tennor, says the German businessman.

Business Insider’s investigation now shows that Windhorst’s empire also fed on shadowy channels. Swiss bank reports, account statements and emails were used to piece together how money from criminal transactions flowed into the Windhorst group of companies.

When questioned, a lawyer denied that Windhorst was involved in criminal activity. After a suspected money laundering report in 2016, the Zurich public prosecutor’s office did not initiate a case against Windhorst after an examination.

What did Hertha investor Lars Windhorst know about the dirty millions flowing into his corporate empire? And how does it manage to bounce back financially over and over again despite various bankruptcies and setbacks? We explore these questions in episode 27 of the true crime podcast “Power and Millions.” Journalists Solveig Gode and Kayhan Özgenc trace the many rises and then declines of the entrepreneur from the small town of Rahden in East Westphalia. They also speak with Business Insider’s chief investigator, Jan C. Wehmeyer, who exposed the flow of dirty money.

About the podcast:

Solveig Gode (28) and Kayhan Özgenc (52) talk about the most exciting crimes and scandals in the German economy every two weeks in “Macht und Millions”. In each episode of our true crime podcast, the two business journalists shed light on a case they reopen using their own original investigation and documents. They talk about brilliant millionaires and fallen managers, but also about neighbors who became perpetrators and victims: real business crimes that happened exactly like that.

You can find the latest episode of “Power and Millions” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podimo or Deezer. If you support us and want to listen to new episodes a week in advance, you can join the “Club Macht und Millions” on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. There you will also exclusively receive the first season and other extra content. The subscription costs 3.99 euros per month.

On our Instagram account you will find photos about the current case, as well as advance information about the topic of the next episode.

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