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Owner of houseboat where Cunanan killed himself wanted for alleged fraud

July 25, 1997

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) _ The FBI on Thursday interviewed a fugitive from German justice who owns the houseboat where murder suspect Andrew Cunanan killed himself. Authorities did not take him into custody.

Authorities found Thorsten Reineck, 49, formerly of Hamburg, Germany, in Las Vegas and interviewed to determine whether he had any relationship with Cunanan, Deputy FBI Director Bill Esposito said at a news conference in Washington.

Reineck is wanted on a Europe-wide arrest warrant on fraud allegations involving up to $111,000, Leipzig state prosecutor Norbert Roeger said.

The FBI did not comment on what Reineck had to say. He was not in custody Thursday night.

Cunanan, suspected of killing fashion designer Gianni Versace and four other men, shot himself to death Wednesday in a houseboat moored on a branch of the Intracoastal Waterway in Miami.

Police said records showed the houseboat, which had been vacant for several months, is Reineck’s. That reinvigorated the search for Reineck in Germany, where he has been wanted since 1992.

Reineck moved to Leipzig after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and opened a gambling hall, according to a report in Germany’s Bild newspaper in early February 1996.

The report said Reineck also bought into the Leipzig brewery ``Leo-Braeu,″ which later went bankrupt. Bild said Reineck was under investigation for allegedly evading nearly $280,000 in taxes.

Roeger declined to confirm or deny the tax evasion allegations, citing an ongoing investigation. He said his office has not sought Reineck’s extradition, but would consider it.

Reineck also is listed as the owner of the Apollo Spa, a gay club in Las Vegas. The Clark County Licensing Bureau in Nevada showed Reineck as a Miami Beach resident.

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