Prosecutors in Frankfurt have indicted one former and seven current workers of notoriously corrupt financial institution Deutsche Bank for participating in a conspiracy aimed at evading tax. Deutsche Bank’s latest scam to come to light was in its carbon emission trading business and took place about five years ago.
Prosecutors did not expressly mention Deutsche Bank on Thursday, but reliable sources familiar with the scandal recognized it as the organization involved. The bank’s head offices in Frankfurt were invaded by approximately 500 police officers and tax inspectors in 2012, associated with inquiries into the carbon trading industry.
Prosecutors in Frankfurt have examined more than twenty former and current employees at the bank, Germany’s largest, including co-CEO Juergen Fitschen and retired finance head Stefan Krause, who had endorsed the lender’s declarations of tax.
In a statement, Deutsche Bank said, “Our investigation into the C02 (carbon trading) situation is continuing. We are cooperating with authorities.”
The carbon market of European Union was severely affected by so-called carousel business in 2009 and 2010, when buyers imported emissions certifications in one EU nation without properly paying value-added tax (VAT) and sold them to one another, adding VAT to the value and creating tax reimbursements when no tax had actually been paid.
More than 14 people have been sentenced to jail in three nations so far for their participation in carbon trading scandals. Europol, the European police agency, has approximated such an offense has cost taxpayers money amounting to more than €5-billion in lost income since 2008.
Prosecutors in Frankfurt said in May they were closely examining 26 former or current staff at Deutsche Bank – five for money laundering, 17 on suspicion of tax elusion and four for obstruction of fairness and justice.
During the inquiry, the bank paid back €220-million for refunds wrongly claimed in the issue.
On Thursday, the prosecutors mentioned that those implicated in the 865-page condemnation included business executives and a member of the bank’s tax section.
The ages of the suspects range from as low as 33 to a 64-year-old retiree. All except the retired old man have been temporarily dismissed from their formal duties, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's’ office said.
None of the suspects were identified by name. It is currently up to a judge to take charge of the criminal case, based on the accusations of the prosecutor.