prosecutors probe Leumi clients over tax evasion: report
Send a link to a friend
[January 13, 2014]
FRANKFURT (Reuters) — German
prosecutors and tax authorities are investigating clients of Leumi <LUMI.TA>
for allegedly evading taxes through a Swiss branch of the Israeli
bank, a German magazine reported.
Leumi said it is aware of an investigation being conducted by the
German authorities relating to bank customers that allegedly did not
report to the German tax authority regarding accounts held with
banks outside Germany.
The prosecutor's office and tax fraud investigators were not
available for comment on Sunday.
Banking secrecy has been steadily eroded over the past few years
after the global financial crisis and rising national debts raised
public pressure on governments to make it harder for wealthy
individuals to shield their money from tax.
According to the magazine report, the German authorities are basing
their probe on a data CD that the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
bought in late 2013 from a foreign whistle-blower. Several prominent
and wealthy people — one holding 80 million euros ($110 million) in
assets — are being targeted, the report said.
[to top of second column]
German prosecutors have made several raids in investigations into
tax evasion, some of them following tips found on CDs of data. Swiss
officials have accused the Germans of breaking Swiss laws on banking
secrecy and of committing economic espionage.
(Reporting by Steven Scheer and Arno
Schuetze; editing by Ruth Pitchford)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.