Central figure in German tax evasion scandal convicted in 2nd case

By AP News

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A central figure in a German tax evasion scandal has been convicted and sentenced to more than eight years in prison, the second verdict against him in the space of a few months

Germany Tax Evasion

BERLIN (AP) — A central figure in a German tax evasion scandal was convicted on Tuesday and sentenced to more than eight years in prison, the second verdict against him in the space of a few months.

The Wiesbaden state court convicted German lawyer Hanno Berger of three counts of tax evasion and gave him a sentence of eight years and three months, German news agency dpa reported. In addition, it ordered the confiscation of nearly 1.1 million euros (nearly $1.2 million) of his assets.

Prosecutors accused Berger of involvement in complex “cum-ex” deals between 2006 and 2008 that led to unwarranted tax rebates of 113 million euros.

The cum-ex scheme has spawned a series of legal cases. Berger was accused of helping investment bankers who swapped shares to collect multiple reimbursement for taxes they had only paid once.

In December, a court in Bonn convicted him on three counts of tax evasion and sentenced him to eight years in prison in connection with alleged crimes between 2007 and 2011. Berger has appealed that verdict to a federal court.

The former German tax official who later became an adviser to banks, funds and investors was arrested in 2021 in Switzerland, where he had been living since 2012. He was extradited to Germany in February 2022.

In the Wiesbaden case, prosecutors had sought a 10 1/2-year sentence, while the defense had pleaded for Berger's acquittal.

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