The Frankfurt district association of workers’ welfare (Awo) has regained its status as a non-profit organization. The Frankfurt tax office granted the recognition on Tuesday retrospectively from 2020, the social association announced on Tuesday. Steffen Krollmann, chairman of Awo Frankfurt, described the news as an “important signal for the restored order of the association”.

The financial authorities had withdrawn the status of non-profit organization from the scandal-ridden social association in 2021, with retrospective effect from 2014. In the years concerned, Awo counted as a commercial enterprise for tax purposes – this resulted in a higher tax burden and back payments of sales, trade and corporation taxes. The association was also no longer allowed to issue donation receipts.

Awo has been involved in a scandal since 2019. The focus is on the two district associations in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden, which were headed by two spouses. It is about unusually high salaries and high-priced company cars, opaque financing, bogus contracts and ties to politics. In the case, a number of trials are under way in different courts. The new Awo management speaks of a “judge system” that not only caused millions in damage, but also sustained damage to the reputation of the social association.

The Feldmanns are also involved in the affair. The deselected Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann, who rejects the allegations, previously worked at Awo. His wife Zübeyde Feldmann, who is now separated, ran an Awo-Kita with an inflated salary.

The non-profit status of the Awo district association Hessen-Süd was also revoked retrospectively for three years in March 2022.