German prosecutors are set to lay charges against eight Deutsche Bank employees following a probe into a multi-million euro VAT fraud linked to the EU ETS, German online magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.
The Frankfurt prosecutors’ office will allege the eight individuals secured fees and bonuses by facilitating the evasion of at least €136 million in taxes for the bank’s clients, Der Spiegel reported, without citing any sources or printing any names.
The magazine said that the prosecutors have decided not to charge three people that were suspected of participating, adding that a further 12 or so individuals remain under investigation.
It was not clear how many were current Deutsche Bank employees and how many were former.
German magazine Focus in April reported that 11 of the bank’s middle managers were named as culpable in helping clients evade tax via the EU ETS, citing a Mar. 27 report by German tax investigators.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutors’ office in April told Carbon Pulse only that 26 employees or former employees of a “large German bank” were under investigation – 17 on suspicion of tax evasion, five on suspicion of money laundering, and four for attempted obstruction of justice.
Spokespeople for Deutsche Bank and the Frankfurt prosecutors’ office were unavailable to comment.
Amongst those that have been identified by prosecutors as being under investigation are former Co-CEO Jurgen Fitschen and former CFO Stefan Krause, who were both accused of signing a questionable VAT tax statement for the bank in 2009.
Throughout the investigations, which led to a raid of Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt offices in 2012, the bank has said it is cooperating with authorities.
VAT fraud, otherwise known as carousel or missing trader fraud, is estimated to have cost EU governments more than €5 billion in lost tax revenues from carbon trading.
At least 20 people have been jailed across Europe in the past few years for their role in the crime.