Court Upholds Conviction of Former Deutsche Bank Official

Our Associate Wibke Stark was quoted in “Tax Notes International” on the conviction of a former Deutsche Bank official.

an article by William Hoke


Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has upheld the conviction of a former Deutsche Bank AG official in a VAT carousel fraud case involving carbon emissions trading certificates and affirmed his three-year prison sentence.

Helmut Hohnholz and six other ex-employees of Deutsche Bank had been found guilty in 2016 for their roles in the scheme, which cheated the government out of €145.5 million in VAT in 2009 and 2010. The other six defendants were convicted of aiding and abetting the VAT fraud and were given suspended prison sentences, and were ordered to pay fines ranging from €10,000 to €200,000.


The Federal court of Justice, Germany’s highest court for criminal and civil law, said May 15 that Hohnholz coordinated the trading of the greenhouse gas emission certificates. Four of the other defendants appealed their 2016 convictions, as did the prosecutor’s office, which said they were guilty of direct participation in the scheme and were not mere accessories to the fraud. The Court’s formal decision will be published at a later date.

Wibke Stark, a lawyer with Grützmacher, Gravert, Viegener, said the Frankfurt District Court found that the defendants were aware that Deutsche Bank would not be entitled to claim refunds under the scheme. The court determined that “it was also in their own interest to continue the lucrative [carbon dioxide] business with margins easily achievable for Deutsche Bank AG,” she said.



To read the complete article see attached PDF.


Wibke Stark advises companies, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals on tax law and corporate law.

Subjects corporate law, corporate succession, corporate taxes, criminal tax law, cross-border restructuring, income tax law, international tax law, mergers & acquisitions, tax litigation

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