Prosecutors have charged seven bank employees and one former employee, media reported on Thursday, without naming the company.
The charges follow a report in German online magazine Der Spiegel last month that said charges were to be laid against eight Deutsche Bank staff following a multi-million euro VAT fraud linked to the EU ETS.
The bankers, aged between 33 and 64, are alleged to have been part of a gang that secured fees and bonuses by facilitating the evasion of at least €136 million in taxes for the bank’s clients between September 2009 and February 2010.
Thursday’s charges are now with the court, which will examine whether to proceed with them, local and international media reports said.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutors’ office in April told Carbon Pulse 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.
Amongst those that have been identified by prosecutors as being under investigation are former Deutsche Bank 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.
“Our investigation into the CO2 situation is continuing. We are cooperating with authorities,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement today, according to Reuters.
Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt offices were raided by 500 police and tax inspectors in 2012.
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.