Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

I'd say von Papen's funding of Mithras and his little terrorist cell came about mainly because their embezzlement was close to being discovered. If they've drained that much money, you can guarantee that something big was coming due. Like a payment that couldn't be missed or a dividend that had to be paid out. Something that would have people asking inconvenient questions in regards to little things along the lines of : "Where the Hell is MY money?!"

The sort of question that can tend to be overlooked when there are bombs going off in the street, or assassinations of important people are happening. The police tend to get so distracted by that sort of thing.

Hatred of the societal changes in Germany, as well, of course.
Step 7: Offer Jack a position as the new head of the trust.
Step 8: Fire anybody who was in charge of controlling the trust and dissolve the auditors company who filed the annual statements
In the following hours, the audit discovered many surprising details. Like just how long some of the Trustees had had their hands in the till and what they had blown the money on. Most surprising of all was that while the Trust’s principle was largely intact, the coffers of Hohenzollern family itself were nearly empty.
Kiki has shown them the way. I think the idea of a new board utilising Jack's firm, (is he a senior partner yet? Anyone who brings the head of a royal family in as a client should probably make senior partner pretty soon), as an external oversight could work.
I also note that while Kiki, Zella & Aurora have been focused on Mithras, up until Zella & Aurora caught him chatting to von Papen, it is Vicki that tipped off her father & Kat about the problems with the Trust. Kiki's little sister put 2 +2 together from listening to her older sister explaining why she had told the Trust to stick it and that von Papen had been trying to get his hands on her Sony stock. Hearing about how the Russian Sisters felt about Kiki telling von Papen to shove it may have helped too.
Step Two: Arrest every Trustee and senior staffer on charges of fraud; embezzlement; breach of contract; theft; theft as a servant; lese majesty and Treason*.
And do this as publicly as possible. Get the maximum amount of play from this.

Step Three: Seize all assets, personal and otherwise, of the Trustees. If you've got to refill those coffers, might as well do it with the cash they stole from you.
I don't know how legalities work in Germany ITTL, but you could probably assess it all to restitution.

Step Four: Stock cells in Spandau with an assortment of the most uncomfortable prison furniture yet invented to ensure an appropriate environment for long term incarceration.
Is IKEA around ITTL?

Step Five: Once links to Mithras discovered / proven, add attempted kidnapping, attempted murder, murder, accessory to kidnapping, accessory to murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, High Treason** and conspiracy to commit the same to the list of charges***. Hell, throw in cruelty to small animals as well. They've probably done that too.
Since Mithras' officially was trying to overthrow the government, treason isn't at all a stretch, plus whatever would be the official charge for subversion.
I can also see the investigation into the Trust ripping open the books of every organisation those Trustees were involved in.

How many shares do they hold in companies ABC through XYZ? If so, how did they pay for them?
Did they sit on the board?
Have they embezzled from those companies too?

Just which banks did they use to transfer/launder the money? Are they only German banks or are others (Swiss, etc.) involved?

I also wonder if they lost money speculating on land deals in an attempt to thwart the rising real estate empire of Kat, Douglas & Gia.
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For step three, the confiscation of goods that you have not received rightfully is an old and proven law. But until about 5 years or so ago the state had to prove that the money and the goods were part of the ransom. This has changed, now if you are involved in major crimes like this you have to prove that the money and the assets have been acquired legally.

One nice sideway of getting to a lot of assets has been the insolvency law in which 10 years back all money and assets that you have transferred to another person/legal entity can be demanded back.

And as an aside I wonder how Swiss is doing now. They gained largely by people wanting to safe money from "socialistic" (meaning anybody actually demanding tax) governments and of course by the effects of the Third Reich.
Soooooo...the Kaiser of the German Empire could be asking his daughter for a loan in fairly short order, from the money she made through investment.

That boring sound is Kaiser Wilhelm spinning in his grave. Along with the ghostly cries of ‘HAVE THEM ALL SHOT!’
Part 101, Chapter 1620
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Twenty

29th March 1964

Mitte, Berlin

Maria had been hoping for a restful weekend, then the phone started ringing. An earthquake in Alaska and the death of General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck had apparently happened within minutes of each other on Friday. Then word had started trickling out about a raid that had been conducted on the Hohenzollern Trust, most of the Trustees and their Senior Staff had been arrested. The laundry list of charges was just staggering. Maria spent all day Saturday back at the BT as the Sunday Edition was put together.

By prior agreement, the artwork that was a signature of the Sunday Edition of the Berliner Tageblatt was focused on General von Lettow-Vorbeck. The Alaska story and Hohenzollern Trust were both developing stories. Large amounts of money and several corporations as well as the Imperial Bank of Germany were all involved.

Then on Sunday morning, something happened that changed the way that Maria saw her daughter by accident. Walter, while he wasn’t nearly the troublemaker that his older sister was, loved to wind Zella even though at eighteen he should have been long past that. He had stolen an envelope that he had found in one of Zella’s notebooks and had caused a big argument with her yelling at him to give it back before she had tried to take it by force. While Zella couldn’t overpower her much larger brother, she had years of experience as a gutter fighter and wasn’t interested in playing nice over whatever was in that envelope.

Emil had broken up the fight, the look of disappointment on his face that he was having to do it the entire time he was yelling at them to get their attention. Zella was adamant that the envelope was a part of something that she was working on and she needed it back. Frustrated by the interruption, Maria had opened the envelope, immediately seeing a large amount of money and the picture of Jack Kennedy, the Lawyer from Ireland who had been appointed by the Emperor to conduct an independent audit of the Hohenzollern Trust. Every instinct Maria had as a Reporter and Editor told her that Zella had somehow stumbled into an aspect of one of the stories that she had been wrestling with over the weekend.

“Where did you get this?” Maria demanded, and Zella had the same look on her face that she’d had frequently as a little girl whenever she had been caught doing something she had been told not to do. “Out with it, Marcella Marie and don’t you dare try to tell me any half-truths or lies.”

Zella hesitated. The risk as always was that she would just clam up, she had certainly done that enough times in the past. Maria knew that if she did then nothing could drag that information out of her, Zella was as stubborn as Emil in that regard. She realized that she needed to change her tact, by not treating Zella like her daughter, but as a reporter.

“You say that this is from something that you are working” Maria said, “Can you explain it to me?”

Zella went back to her notebook and pulled out a series of photographs. Maria’s mouth went dry as she saw Franz von Papen meeting with an unknown young man Zella’s age. In one of the photos, an envelope, the same one in Zella’s possession was passed across.

“Who is that?” Maria asked.

“Kiki was told by the Russian Sisters just who that creep Mithras was” Zella said, “We were following him before he went to that meeting.”

Maria had heard rumors of the Russian women who felt they owed Katherine von Mischner and Jehane Thomas-Romanova a personal debt for how they were treated during the Second World War. Supposedly, they had people everywhere. It was hardly a surprise that they would attempt to cultivate a similar arrangement with the Emperor’s eldest daughter. Still, Mithras. Maria had also heard who and what he supposedly was. That Zella had been shadowing someone so dangerous…

“Just how did you get this envelope?” Maria asked.

Zella hesitated again.

“Marcella…” Maria said, knowing how she thought.

“I said that we were following Mithras and he walked into the street against the light” Zella said, “Aurora was driving, and she sort of hit him with her mother’s car. It was an accident and we didn’t see him until he stepped out in front of us. I might have taken the opportunity to get the envelope away from him.”

“How many times have I told you not to make yourself a part of the story?” Maria asked sharply, “You picked his pocket after your friend ran over him with her car?”

“Aurora didn’t run over him. It was more like he bounced off the bonnet and grill” Zella said in a rush “I was trying to figure out how to write this but…”

Maria held up her hand silencing her daughter. This was beyond belief. Zella had the sort of story that made a journalist’s entire career just fall into her lap and she may have screwed it up with her impulsive actions. The worst part was that Zella’s instincts were exactly the sort of thing that Maria tried to foster among her cub reporters. Thirty years earlier, Maria wouldn’t have put it past herself not to do what her daughter had done. Already, the headline was forming in her mind to go with this story, Mithras Unmasked in massive print. It would be a blockbuster of a story and in order to protect her, Zella had to be a source and her name couldn’t appear anywhere in the byline. As Maria thought about it, she realized that it would be the perfect punishment for her daughter.
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A funeral I would love to see, Lettow-Vorbeck being given the full honours due to him.


Also the Alaska thing. Earthquake or "Earthquake"?

The first being natural, the second being someone in the US has finally managed to get the country the only thing it needs to maybe allow the military to sleep sounder at night.
Great story PM. Keep it coming please !

Just one loose end that I am trying to wrap my head around. How did FvP know that JFK was going to be THE auditor. Methinks there is a leak somewhere in the palace, and someone is going to massively regret passing this tidbit onto FvP.

Carry on sir.
I wonder if Wurth will be ensuring that all firearms are removed from Von Papen's properties?

After all, it wouldn't do for him to have an unfortunate shooting accident until the Justice department have had their pound of flesh from him.
Hey, it’s a good thing Edward Teller didn’t have his way, or we’d be talking about the merits of nuclear fracking.

Also, this was an amazing pair of updates regarding the raid and our old friend Maria.

The Sound of Music’s “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria” has a different meaning ITTL: it’s got an implied [Does]. She really does have the most creative and appropriate punishments.