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Lieb’s five-year run as Mercedes CEO was cut short when he was dismissed for allegedly misusing $100,000 in company funds to upgrade a Mercedes-owned home in New Jersey. Lieb’s lawyer, Stefan Naegele, states that some of the improvements were ordered or approved by Daimler’s facility management. Those that weren’t on the list were called necessities with Naegele stating that the washer and dryer were replaced because they were not repairable and the home gym was refurbished because of water damage.
Naegele will be approaching the case with the premise that Daimler has fired dozens of former executives unfairly as a result of their “zero tolerance” crackdown on ethics violations. The American government had alleged that Daimler made improper payments of at least $56 million from 1998-2008 to at least 22 countries in order to obtain government contracts. In April 2010, Daimler paid out $185 million to settle the charges.