For the first time, a tax lawyer from a major law firm is being prosecuted for his role as an advisor in the Cum-Ex complex.
The next verdict has been made in the billion-dollar tax scandal surrounding cum-ex share transactions. The Frankfurt regional court imposed a prison sentence of three years and six months on a former top lawyer at the major law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for aiding and abetting serious tax evasion in four cases. This was the first time that a tax lawyer from a major law firm was prosecuted for his role as an advisor in the Cum-Ex complex. The judgment can be appealed.
In addition to the former Freshfields top lawyer, a former Maple banker was convicted. He received a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion. He had already made a confession at the start of the trial.
The ex-top lawyer had advised Maple Bank on cum-ex deals in which it was unclear for a long time whether they were illegal. Freshfields prepared reports on the tax admissibility of the share deals. The Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office had accused the tax lawyer of having made it possible to deceive the tax authorities with “courtesy reports”.
According to the indictment, Maple Bank caused tax damage of around 388 million euros with cum-ex transactions – until it went bankrupt in 2016 because of the threat of over-indebtedness due to a tax provision for cum-ex transactions.