image twoDeutsche Bank staff charged over carbon trading scandal


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Frankfurt prosecutors have indicted seven current and one former employee of Deutsche Bank for conspiring to evade tax in the trading of carbon emission certificates more than five years ago.

Prosecutors did not name Deutsche Bank on Thursday but sources familiar with the matter identified it as the institution involved.

The bank’s Frankfurt headquarters were raided by around 500 police and tax inspectors in late 2012, related to investigations into the carbon trading market. Frankfurt prosecutors have investigated more than two dozen current or former employees at the bank, Germany’s largest, including co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen and former finance chief Stefan Krause, who had signed the lender’s tax declarations.

“Our investigation into the C02 (carbon trading) situation is continuing. We are co-operating with authorities,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement, without commenting further. The European Union’s carbon market was hit by so-called carousel trades in 2009 and 2010, in which buyers imported emissions permits in one EU country without paying value-added tax (VAT) and then sold them to each other, adding VAT to the price and generating tax refunds when no tax had been paid.

At least 14 people have been jailed in three countries so far for their involvement in carbon trading VAT fraud. European police agency Europol has estimated such crime has cost taxpayers more than €5 billion in lost revenue since 2008. Frankfurt prosecutors said in May they were investigating 26 current or former employees at Deutsche Bank – 17 on suspicion of tax evasion, five for money laundering and four for obstruction of justice. In the course of the investigation, the bank repaid 220 million euros for refunds falsely claimed in the affair.

On Thursday, the prosecutors said those charged in the 865-page indictment included corporate customer representatives and a member of the bank’s tax department. Their ages range from 33 to a 64-year-old who has already retired. All but the retired person have been suspended from their jobs, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office said. None of the accused were named. It is now up to a judge to take up the case, based on the prosecutors’ accusations.


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