Arrested Deutsche Bank Staff to Be in Court: Prosecutor
By Karin Matussek – Dec 13, 2012 6:29 AM ET
Five Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) employees arrested yesterday on allegations of obstruction of justice and money laundering will make their first court appearance today.
A judge at the Frankfurt local court will allow the suspects to comment on the accusations, Guenter Wittig, a spokesman for the Frankfurt General Prosecutor, said by phone. He declined to identify them.
“That’s the normal course of events,” Wittig said. “If police arrest someone, a judge has to rule on whether the person can be held or needs to be released.”
The case is part of a criminal probe over tax-evasion allegations linked to the sale of carbon-emission certificates in which prosecutors are investigating a total of 25 people at Deutsche Bank. The lender’s German offices were raided yesterday. The lender has said Co-Chief Executive Officer Juergen Fitschen and Stefan Krause, the firm’s chief financial officer, are subjects of a tax probe.
Deutsche Bank fell 0.5 percent to 34.09 euros at 12:27 p.m. in Frankfurt trading, while the Euro Stoxx Banks Index was up 0.2 percent.
The probe has been pending for more than two years and led to Europe-wide raids in 2010, including at the offices of Deutsche Bank. People at the bank were warned beforehand of the 2010 raids.
Fitschen and Krause are under investigation because they signed value-added tax statements for 2009 that prosecutors claim were wrong, Deutsche Bank said yesterday. The document was voluntarily corrected in a way that rules out any violations, the bank said. Prosecutors say the correction came too late, the lender said.
Prosecutors are investigating about 190 people in total now, according to Wittig. Six men linked to small trading or sham companies were convicted of aggravated tax evasion by a Frankfurt court a year ago over sales of carbon-emission certificates to Deutsche Bank. The lender should have known the securities were designed to illegally evade value-added tax, Presiding Judge Martin Bach said at the time.
Deutsche Bank chose not to claim back about 310 million euros ($404 million) of VAT refunds as the case evolved. Last year, the lender made a provision in that amount as a “precautionary measure on legal advice” and reserved the right to reclaim the tax at a later date, a position the bank subsequently gave up.
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