German “Robin Hood” Bank Manager Borrowed From Rich, Loaned to Poor

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Robin Hood of Modern Germany (photo: Bild)

All Erika Schmidt tried to do, she says, was help disadvantaged people get back on their feet. That would have been fine had she not helped the less fortunate by stealing money from the rich, earning her the moniker the Robin Hood of Germany.

Schmidt, 62, a local bank manager near Bonn, began in 2003 making unauthorized loans to the needy to cover overdrafts with funds from her bank’s wealthy depositors, giving out more than $11 million in just one year (of which $10.7 million was repaid). However, some of the people she helped never caught up on their payments and, at the time bank officials discovered Schmidt’s illegal activities the bank was missing $1.8 million from accounts.
She was arrested and charged with 117 counts of misappropriation. Her trial resulted in conviction and, because she took no money for herself, a suspended sentence of 22 months. But she did lose her job and she will have to repay her bank $1.6 million using only funds from her modest pension.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Bankerin Klaute Reichen 7,6 Mio (by P. Braun and J. Ley, Bild)


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