Thielert Founder Jailed As Trial Proceeds (Updated)

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Frank Thielert, founder of Thielert Aircraft Engines, which produces Centurion diesel engines for the aviation market, last week was jailed by a judge in a German bankruptcy court who reportedly considered him a "flight risk." According to the Google translation of a story in the Hamburg Abendblatt newspaper, the judge said Thielert faces several years in prison if convicted on charges that investors in his company were "systematically deceived." The Thielert AG company went public in 2005 and declared insolvency in 2008, but continues to operate. Sebastian Wentzler, a company spokesman, told AVweb in an email, "Frank Thielert is out of the company since summer 2008. …The trials against Frank Thielert do not affect the business of the company in any way."

The court said Thielert and several other defendants misrepresented the company's economic situation to potential investors, making it out to be more positive than it was. More than 3,500 of the diesel aircraft engines have been delivered around the world. "Thielert Aircraft Engines is still developing, producing and shipping the Centurion aircraft engines," said Wentzler. "Production has never been stopped." A separate company, Centurion, provides service to the fleet.