Cologne taxi boss surprised at her confession in court

Cologne taxi boss surprised at her confession in court

© Matthias Heinekamp
A taxi boss now had to answer in court. Our symbolic photo shows taxis on Cologne’s Friesenplatz in 2015.

A Cologne taxi entrepreneur is said to have evaded a total of 1.2 million euros according to investigations by the public prosecutor. The defense does not deny reaching into the state treasury, but the amount of the tax liability is estimated at around 900,000 euros. According to the attorney’s assessment, the focus is on a suspended sentence. Especially since the 64-year-old entrepreneur has so far been a blank record under criminal law.

At the start of the trial on Friday, the indictment had reduced the amount of evaded wage and sales tax to EUR 924,000 and limited the crime period to six years – from 2011 to 2017. Doris M. (name changed) did not deny the charges. “I am in no way contesting the facts,” was her admission. She explained why this came about with the surprising words: “It was so common in the industry.”

The accused Cologne woman has no passenger transport certificate

After completing secondary school, she then trained as a secretary in financial management. Then she met her husband, who was already working as a taxi driver. She had two children and the couple decided to become self-employed. 1980, Doris M. had previously given the IHK the entrepreneur license – she founded her own taxi company, her husband changed employers and now drove for the wife. She has never driven a taxi or rental car in her life: “I don’t have a passenger transport ticket. My sense of direction is too bad for that. ”

When she started her own business back then, the industry was booming. What started with a rental car developed into a larger company thanks to regular customers and companies that regularly booked in advance. Most recently, 16 of the rental cars were used to operate the accused, and they had a total of forty drivers on their payroll. “The cars had to roll, driving 24 hours, day and night,” said Doris M., describing the then flourishing business.

Cologne: Tax auditors blow up Cologne entrepreneur

The drivers were predominantly accounted for as marginally employed on a 450 euro basis in the wages book. A few were permanently employed and received gross wages of around 1400 euros. In fact, they usually went home twice the amount each month. That was so common, says Doris M. “Every driver received between 45 and 50 percent of sales and took it home gross for a net price at the end of the day.” The defendant explains why she did not state the complete turnover in her tax return and the full wages for the employees in her tax return, as prescribed by law, on her own account: “I did not invent the system. It has always been done this way. If I had done it differently, I would soon have had no drivers. ”

Cologne taxi boss: bankruptcy filed

When the tax audit came in two years ago, the whole thing was exposed. In the meantime, Doris M. has filed for bankruptcy, after all there is now a six-figure sum in back tax payment. It is questionable whether the properties that the couple owns will be loaned or sold for. The couple live in their own house, bought an old building in the Rhein-Erftkreis a long time ago and extensively renovated it, as well as a wooden hut in Norway. The process is scheduled for several days of negotiations.


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