Deutsche Bank under scrutiny in tax fraud probe

According to an internal investigation into Deutsche Bank’s involvement in one of Europe’s greatest tax scandals, staff members violated corporate policy and regulatory guidelines to enable clients to divert millions of euros in government funds.

Public prosecutors in Cologne are looking into more than 70 current and former workers in connection with the scandal, underscoring the German bank’s susceptibility to the massive “cum-ex” tax fraud scheme that is the focus of a broad probe by law enforcement.

1,500 people are being looked into by public prosecutors in Cologne as part of a larger investigation into the plan, which involved big banks like Barclays, Macquarie, and UniCredit’s HypoVereinsbank and involved the theft of public funds.

Public prosecutors were given access to Deutsche’s internal inquiry, which was carried out by the law firm Freshfields and dates back to 2015. According to those with knowledge of the situation, it plays a significant role in the criminal investigation that the Cologne police department is conducting against the bank’s personnel.

The tax fraud, which is thought to have cost taxpayers across the continent billions of euros, involved share transactions made before and after a stock’s dividend payout that tricked governments into paying taxes they never should have. The term “cum-ex” refers to the disappearing dividend payments and is taken from the Latin “with without” to describe the fraud.

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