Updated: Wednesday, 14 May 2014 01:27 | By Agence France-Presse

Jail-bound German football boss blackmailed by bicycle bandit

Ex-Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeness, who is headed for jail for tax fraud, was targeted by a blackmailer who threatened "serious difficulties" for him behind bars, German police said Tuesday.


Jail-bound German football boss blackmailed by bicycle bandit

Former Bayern Munich's President Uli Hoeness addresses the annual general meeting of FC Bayern Munich in Munich, southern Germany, on May 2, 2014 - by Christof Stache

Undercover police last Saturday arrested a 50-year-old man they had met after arranging to hand over a six-figure sum of cash, adding that the suspect was injured when he fell off his bicycle while trying to get away.

"In the extortion letter, Mr Hoeness is threatened with serious difficulties for his upcoming criminal detention," Bavarian police said in a statement.

"The author claims to have influence over the term of incarceration, no matter in which Bavarian prison it is served. Mr Hoeness could avoid these difficulties by paying a six-figure cash sum."

Top-selling Bild newspaper said the amount demanded was about 200,000 euros ($275,000).

After receiving the blackmail letter last Saturday, Hoeness, 62, immediately contacted police, who mounted their sting operation in Munich the same evening using plainclothes officers.

The unidentified 50-year-old man, who suffered minor injuries when he fell off his bicycle, was taken by ambulance to hospital under police guard and remained in detention, the statement added.

In March, Hoeness was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for cheating the German state out of 28.5 million euros in unpaid taxes by hiding his wealth in a Swiss bank.

Hoeness resigned as president and supervisory board chairman of the powerhouse club Bayern Munich after his conviction, which he said he would not appeal.

His jail term is expected to start in coming weeks, though authorities have not named a date.

Hoeness has been expected to serve time in the Landsberg prison west of Munich -- where Nazi leader Adolf Hitler once wrote "Mein Kampf" -- after the prison gave journalists a tour of its facilities recently.

This week news magazine Focus reported that Hoeness had filed a protest demanding to be sent to a different prison, citing concerns that Landsberg guards could sell information about him to the media.

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