Bermuda Post

Monday, Feb 26, 2024

French authorities raid banks in massive tax fraud case

French authorities raided five banks on Tuesday as part of an investigation into suspected cases of massive tax fraud and money laundering, prosecutors said.
Some 150 investigators conducted searches in Paris and the financial district La Defense, the financial prosecutor's office (PNF) said in a statement.

The raids follow five preliminary investigations that were opened in December 2021 in connection with suspected money laundering and aggravated suspected tax fraud related to dividend payments, the statement said.

The operation "required several months of preparation", the statement said, and involved 16 investigating magistrates and more than 150 financial investigators.

Prosecutors from Germany, where similar tax frauds came to light in recent years, were also involved in the raids, the statement added.

A spokesman for Societe Generale confirmed to AFP that the French bank was being searched by authorities, but he said he did not know the reason.

French rival BNP Paribas and its Exane unit, financial group Natixis and British banking giant HSBC are the other targets of the raids, according to Le Monde newspaper.



Disappearing dividends
A group of European news outlets published an investigation dubbed the "CumEx-Files" into the tax fraud in 2018.

Its title referred to trading of shares with ("cum" in Latin) and without ("ex") dividends.

The amounts involved are suspected to have reached 140 billion euros ($151 billion) over a period of 20 years, the media group said in 2021.

Tuesday's raids stem from so-called "Cum-Cum" tax fraud.

"The fraud involves a foreign shareholder in a company listed in France temporarily transferring the shares he owns to a French banking institution, around the date the dividend is paid out," the PNF said.

The aim is "to avoid paying the tax applicable to the payment of this dividend," it added.

Banks are suspected of acting as intermediaries in the practice and even charging a commission to the investors taking part.

A German court in December sentenced lawyer Hanno Berger to eight years in prison over the "cum-ex" tax scam, convicting him of three counts of aggravated tax evasion.

The regional court found that the 72-year-old -- believed to be the original mastermind of the scheme -- helped arrange fraudulent transactions at German bank M.M. Warburg between 2007 and 2013 that cost Berlin's treasury 278 million euros.

In addition to the jail time, the court ordered 13.7 million euros ($14.8 million) of personal revenues from the scheme to be confiscated from Berger's accounts.

Berger only partially admitted wrongdoing during the proceedings, insisting that some of the transactions were legal at the time.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Bermuda Post
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
'I just lost it' Lowe’s worker fired after 13 years of employment for confronting thieves trying to steal $2K of merchandise
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
×