Translated from www.welt.de – Probably the best kept secret of the German porn entrepreneur Fabian Thylmann, 34, has nine digits and a dollar sign. It is a loan that helped him to probably the world’s largest provider of Internet pornography ascend.
With the million-credit Thylmann funded in the past two years, the rapid expansion of its group of companies Manwin. Today, his empire includes popular porn sites like “Pornhub”, “MyDirtyHobby” or “Reality Kings” – a mix of free and fee-based websites that are clicked daily by many millions of people.
How much money is on the credit went and exactly where it came from: In Thylmann has so far been silent. “I will not tell you the amount,” he said early last year in Las Vegas during one of his rare public appearances, “please do not ask.”
Whether they are funds because the New York financial district, Wall Street-based hedge fund, he explained only. Since then, the industry speculated on Internet forums and blogs. Even from the Eastern European Internet Mafia have already spoken.
The new trail leads to Wall Street
The “world” was in September last year as the first media reports about questionable business practices at Manwin, while already the volume of 28 April 2011 agreed loan unveiled: 362 million U.S. dollars.
As a trustee, a company called CB Agency Services is based in Delaware, a U.S. state, which is considered a tax haven. Commercial register of the CB Agency services were designed so that the backers were unable to identify. The trail to the donors ended here. So far.
According to new information from the “world” the money trail actually leads to Wall Street. The CB Agency Services is a subsidiary of Colbeck Capital Management, founded in 2009. This is also reported in Delaware, but the bosses are sitting in New York, in an exclusive area near the Central Park
Two former employees of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, their names: Jason Colodne and Jason Beckman. Colbeck is a creation of the two surnames. Also, CB stands for the initials of the bankers.
The sleazy image does not disturb the Goldman boys
Jason Colodne and Jason Beckman worked from 1998 to 2004 at Goldman Sachs. They took care of that time to “distressed assets”, high-risk assets, as well as high interest rates. Deals just tricky. As those with Thylmann.
“Because of the high reputational risks to our investment committee had not approved such a commitment,” says a manager who has worked for a famous Anglo-Saxon hedge funds.
The sleazy image scares apparently from many investors. Goldman Sachs also distances himself today by the former employees and we value the statement. “We had and have no business relationship to Colbeck Capital Management and its two founders”
All the way up it went for Colodne and Beckman at Goldman Sachs before. They made it in the hierarchy only to the third of five levels of management. Nevertheless, they are for some time to New York high society and maintain an extravagant lifestyle.
Internet photos show at beach parties on luxury yachts, at charity receptions, alongside prominent football player and in silly Halloween costumes. The duo themselves photographed with real celebrities and those who would like it. Beckman’s fiancee is Fabiola Beracasa, a member of the publisher Hearst dynasty.
The other donors are true
Jason Colodne gained some notoriety in the United States through his involuntary retirement from the private equity firm Patriarch Partners. In 2008 he made a guest appearance alongside his then-girlfriend in the reality show “The Real Housewives of New York City.” Apparently reason enough for his former employer to fire him. Colodne sued Patriarch Partners then to 55 million dollars in damages. It was agreed at that time behind closed doors and no longer speaks in public.
For the first time Manwin also responded in writing to a questionnaire of the “world”. The answers were thin. They could be donors and money brokers say nothing and is bound by “various confidentiality agreements.”
One seems to be very likely: The two Wall Street bankers are not the real backers of Fabian Thylmann, they only act as intermediaries for capital Manwin and collect fees for their services. But where will the money is for the million-credit to the German Porn business owner?
Hedge funds with infamous German past
The two bankers are now accused of, among other business dealings with the billionaire and owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey Association, Ronald Wayne Burkle. Whose money was not, however, flowed to Thylmann how Colbeck Capital negotiated the “world” says: “Mr. Burkle never had any involvement with Manwin.”
The American news channel Fox News reported that Colodne and Beckman had split the loan in tranches at Manwin and relayed on Wall Street. One of the investors is the New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.
Fortress in Germany enjoys a rather dubious reputation. 2004 the Americans took over the public housing company Gagfah, which are now around 150,000 homes. They took him to the stock exchange. Then there were increasing complaints from tenants’ associations, the new owners saved on repairs in favor of the return.
Whether German housing or a global porn empire – Fortress seems the loss of image disturbing little unless the return is correct. However, to learn from the environment of Fortress also that the hedge fund had taken only a short time a small portion of the loan and sold it immediately, as allegations were publicly Thylmann.
Thylmann is against millions on bail
Since last December, slammed the German tax investigation. The ransacked Thylmanns Villa in Brussels and the Manwin office in Hamburg. The Manwin boss spent several days in custody.
Only towards the payment of a two-digit million bail he returned released. His passport retained a the authorities. Two German prosecutors investigate now against the employer. It’s about the suspicion of tax evasion and the distribution of pornography to minors.
The confidence of Jason Beckman and Jason Colodne in Manwin and his German boss however seems unbroken. Despite all the negative headlines, despite the threat of prosecution and possible tax penalties in Germany
“There is no concern that the company can meet its obligations in the ordinary course of business,” shares the Colbeck Capital, on request. Manwin also stressed: “The company does not believe affect the investigations relate to the business or to service the debts.”
Fate of Manwin is linked to the credit
Everything else could it mean for Thylmann the loss of his company. As security for the loan Manwin apparently serves the entire enterprise network which extends from Luxembourg to Hamburg and Ireland to Canada, and Los Angeles. Even a subsidiary in Cyprus is just with their bank accounts and even their office furniture how to show documents of the Trade Register.
So far, the first tranche of the loan is paid off with $ 160 million. According to Colbeck Capital, the second tranche has not been frozen, as is rumored in the industry.
The serenity of the two Jasons resulting perhaps from experience with questionable business partners. In 2008, the bankers were working for Guy de Chimay. The charismatic investment banker succeeded in becoming a member of the Belgian nobility and lured investors by claiming to manage $ 200 million for his own family.
Three years later, the supposed nobility emerged as a con man who had fraudulently obtained seven million U.S. dollars with a Ponzi scheme, to pay for his divorce. He was sentenced by a New York court to several years in prison. For Jason, the thing is now clear: “We were among those who were deceived by him.”