First “cum-ex” criminal trial: private bank warburg wants to pay up

First 'cum-ex' criminal trial: private bank warburg wants to pay up

Bonn (dpa) – the hamburg-based private bank M. M. Warburg has announced its intention to pay money to the treasury because of its involvement in "cum-ex" tax deals to the detriment of the state treasury.

The bank’s lawyer, christian jehke, told the regional court in bonne that the bank has been in talks with the tax authorities for a long time to ensure that "all profits made from these transactions are paid out to the tax authorities without delay".

In doing so, the hamburg-based financial institution has followed the example of other banks that have also sought to talk to the tax authorities and have dug deep into their pockets because of their involvement in cum-ex. The amount of the warburg payment remained open.

Last week, the court let it be known that it considers the targeted multiple refunding of taxes to be a criminal offense and that the banks will probably be asked to pay up.

A verdict was reached in january. Attorney jehke emphasized that the parties involved in the M. M. Warburg had never intended to "engage in or solicit share transactions in violation of tax law". Nevertheless, he now signaled a willingness to pay on behalf of the private bank.

The warburg representative pointed out in court that a number of other financial players were involved in the transactions, including brokers, advisors and custodian banks. "Without these players, the deals would not have been possible," said jehke.

"Confiscation was also a possibility against them."This may be understood as a finger pointing in the direction of the german bank – in a separate strand, warburg sues the rough german money house for damages because of its role in "cum-ex" as a so-called custodian bank, i.E. As a bank where shares are stored. Deutsche bank rejected the accusations.

Custodian banks tended to play a passive role in "cum-ex"; they themselves did not engage in such tax deals. However, they held shares with which the other financial players staged the "cum-ex" confusion game against the tax authorities – depending on the transaction, the custodian banks charged taxes accordingly. In the "cum-ex" case, the tax authorities refunded taxes that had not been paid at all – the total loss to the state is estimated to be in the tens of billions of euros.

Presiding judge roland zickler had spoken of a "collective grab into the state coffers" a week ago during an assessment of the facts of the "cum-ex" case, adding with a view to the banks: "we have seen that self-control has often failed."Zickler made it clear that other financial players could also be held financially accountable. "We know how rough the total pie distributed is," says the judge. "We can have it calculated for us how much of the cake ended up where."

In the trial, which started in september, two british ex-stockbrokers are charged with 33 counts of particularly serious tax evasion and one count of attempted tax evasion in the period from 2006 to 2011. They are thus alleged to have contributed to a tax loss of 447.5 million euros. The M. M. Warburg and four other financial institutions are involved in the proceedings as so-called recovery participants – the banks participated in the transactions.

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