German court fines man €208,000 for stealing meat worth €13 in supermarket

A court in Munich has fined a 58-year-old man €208,000 for passing calf liver (Kalbsleber) as lower-cost fruit at a grocery store. The court said the fine was justified since the man earned tens of thousands of euros a month.

A 58-year-old man has been given a record-breaking fine for theft at a Munich supermarket, the Munich District Court has reported.

Police arrested the man in December after he was caught taking calf liver and repackaging it as lower-cost fruit. The man, a member of a wealthy jeweller family, used the self-checkout line to purchase the meat for a fraction of its cost, estimated at being between €13 to €47 ($16 to $58). It was the fourth time in a month he had taken liver and re-packaged it as fruit, the court reported on its website on Monday.

The man had been remanded in custody in December after failing to prove he had a permanent address in Germany. At his trial he gave a full confession but was unable to give a motive for his actions.

High-income earner

The court fined the man €208,000 ($258,000), citing his exorbitant monthly income and previous offenses. The fine was calculated on the basis of 260 days at €800 per day. The man was released from custody.

The man, who cannot be named under German reporting restrictions for court cases, was given a 2-year suspended sentence in 2013 for concealing foreign bank accounts and fined €440,000. He was given a further 21-month sentence after giving a false foreign address in a tax assessment case in 2015. He was only released in 2017, just a few months before being caught taking the calf liver in the Munich-Haidhausen store in December 2017.

© DW

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