One of the most glittering figures in Austrian high society, Julius Meinl, has been arrested on suspicion of banking fraud. He is the chairman of Meinl Bank, and the head of a family dynasty that began selling coffee and running delicatessens in Austria in 1862. The Meinl coffee brand is one of Europe’s best known. The family returned to Austria after WWII, and Meinl himself is British-born.“We believe there’s a danger he might abscond, because Julius Meinl is British and he has many homes around the world. At any moment he could escape to one of them,” said a spokesman for the Vienna prosecutor. Meinl’s arrest follows an 18-month investigation into his banking affairs. He is accused of illegal share buybacks to boost share prices and defraud investors, allegedly using the Meinl Bank to buy nearly two billion euros of shares in its Meinl Land property subsidiary, whose share price collapsed in 2007.
Meinl faces a roasting