Kempinski files criminal charges against ex-chief

Swiss-born Reto Wittwer accused of fraud and misconduct
Kempinski Hotels has filed criminal charges against its former president and CEO, Swiss-born Reto Wittwer, for alleged fraud and professional misconduct.
Filed in Switzerland, Wittwer is alleged to have channelled funds out of the company “with fraudulent intent and avoiding all internal controls”, including during periods when Kempinski was attempting to make budget cuts and drastic savings on labour costs.
“Kempinski, and everyone associated with the company, have been badly let down by someone in whom we placed our full trust,” said Alejandro Bernabé, the company’s current chief executive.
“The high responsibilities of executive office and the fundamental values on which Kempinski has carefully built its business have, we believe, been deliberately flouted in the pursuit of personal greed and unlawful gain. We are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness.”
A year ago, on October 30, 2014, Kempinski announced that Wittwer had retired after 19 years in the role. The decision this week to take legal action followed a full internal investigation conducted by a third party.
“As soon as the company became aware of the suspected fraud, Kempinski conducted a thorough review of its internal controls,” the company said. “A number of changes in terms of internal audit and compliance have been made.”
TTG Asia

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