File photo of Juergen Fitschen, one of two CEOs of Deutsche Bank. Michael Probst/AP

Co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank under investigation for alleged tax fraud

The allegations date back to 2010 and concern “individuals suspected of tax fraud in connection with trading in carbon emissions certificates”.

DEUTSCHE BANK SAID today that one of its co-chief executives Juergen Fitschen was under investigation in an ongoing probe into alleged tax fraud at Germany’s biggest lender.

Prosecutors and tax police raided the offices of Deutsche Bank today in a probe dating back to 2010, and “in connection with this, two management board members Juergen Fitschen and Stefan Krause are also being investigated,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement.

The allegations date back to the spring of 2010 and concern “individuals suspected of tax fraud in connection with trading in carbon emissions certificates,” the statement said.

Fitschen and Krause, who is the bank’s finance chief, are under investigation because they signed off the bank’s 2009 valued-added tax (VAT) declaration, the bank explained.

“But that tax declaration has since been corrected voluntarily by the bank. Unlike the prosecutors, Deutsche Bank is of the opinion that the corrected declaration was submitted in a timely manner,” it said.

“Deutsche Bank is cooperating fully with the authorities,” it added.

Fitschen has been a member of Deutsche Bank’s management board since 2009 and took over as co-chief executive, alongside Anshu Jain, earlier this year.

In their own statement prosecutors said that, in addition to Deutsche Bank’s offices in Frankfurt, flats and offices were also searched in Berlin and Duesseldorf.

The number of officers involved in the raids was 500, it said.

Prosecutors said a total 25 Deutsche Bank employees were being investigated and arrest warrants had been issued for five suspects on suspicion of money laundering and perverting the course of justice.

According to Der Spiegel magazine in its online edition, the suspects evaded hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) in tax.

In December 2011, six businessmen — three British citizens, two Germans and one Frenchman — were sentenced to between three and seven years in prison for not paying taxes from trading in carbon emission certificates.

- (c) AFP 2012.

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