German cum-ex mastermind handed 8-year jail sentence for tax fraud

German cum-ex mastermind handed 8-year jail sentence for tax fraud

  • Cum-ex one of Germany’s biggest tax ripoffs
  • Tax law firm Berger most superior-profile cum-ex determine
  • Requested to repay additional than 13 mln euros
  • Berger was cum-ex inventor 2., judge claims
  • Faces 2nd legal verdict in Wiesbaden following 12 months

BONN, Germany, Dec 13 (Reuters) – A tax lawyer, alleged to have masterminded 1 of Germany’s greatest write-up-war frauds, was sentenced to 8 decades in jail on Tuesday immediately after a landmark demo that has gripped the state.

Hanno Berger, a 72-year-old previous tax inspector turned lawful tax pro, is the most higher profile specialist to be convicted immediately after sprawling investigations into the cum-ex dividend stripping scheme, which some professionals estimate has price tag German taxpayers all-around 10 billion euros ($10.5 billion).

Berger, who fled to Switzerland in 2012 ahead of becoming extradited to Germany in February, was also ordered to repay more than 13 million euros as he became the 11th man convicted in Germany in excess of the scandal immediately after an eight-thirty day period trial.

Germany and Denmark are foremost cross-border investigations into the buying and selling scheme, which concerned banks and buyers professing a number of bogus tax rebates on dividends, aided by now-closed loopholes in their tax methods and the failure of authorities to location and halt the observe.

Berger’s sentence is the longest to date right after all-around 8 decades of investigations that govt officials say span all around 1,500 suspects and 100 banking institutions on 4 continents.

In closing arguments at the Bonn courtroom previous 7 days, prosecutors accused Berger of orchestrating tax scams that siphoned 278 million euros from German taxpayers.

Berger rejected accusations of tax fraud, despite the fact that he conceded he should really have compensated better heed to a 2009 finance ministry letter that expressed concerns about the “tax optimisation scheme”. He also insisted some transactions were authorized at the time.

Judge Roland Zickler said the scenario turned on a especially major type of white-collar crime, labelling Berger “the inventor of cum-ex 2.” for the reason that his techniques ended up so prolific.

“You were being proper at the centre,” he told Berger.

Richard Beyer, a lawyer representing Berger, explained his shopper would research the judgment in advance of determining his subsequent steps.


Prosecutors mentioned Berger made and promoted the cum-ex scheme, defrauding the German condition and profiting, together with a colleague, of 27.3 million euros amongst 2007 and 2013.

Berger is on the hook for fifty percent. The former colleague, who can’t be named for legal explanations, is due to fork out the remainder, though the courtroom read that his attempts to shell out his share have been partly blocked by a lender on compliance grounds.

The plan, which flourished right after the 2008 credit crisis, included the quick dealing of firm shares all over dividend payout days, blurring inventory possession and making it possible for multiple events to assert rebates.

The scandal has sparked a community and political outcry as standard Germans experience a cost-of-residing disaster.

Authorities have raided the German branches of firms like Barclays (BARC.L), Bank of The united states (BAC.N), JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley in their investigations. All four financial institutions have mentioned they are cooperating with inquiries.

In September, Financial institution of New York Mellon Corp (BK.N), Germany’s Warburg Group and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) said they would pay out a mixed 60 million euros to tax authorities over the scandal.

Berger has also been billed by Frankfurt prosecutors in excess of yet another alleged cum-ex tax fraud, valued at 113 million euros, with a trial in the city of Wiesbaden which is predicted to achieve a verdict following yr.

“Even if there are those who may possibly have wished for a lengthier sentence, the essential takeaway now is that the regulation is a lot more strong than criminal money,” reported ex-lawmaker Gerhard Schick, who instigated a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal.

($1 = .9484 euros)

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi and Marta Orosz, crafting by Kirstin Ridley, modifying by Kirsten Donovan and Alexander Smith

Our Specifications: The Thomson Reuters Have faith in Rules.