Home news Spy or hero? | TIME ONLINE

Spy or hero? | TIME ONLINE

May one hand secret documents to prosecutors and tax inspectors
pass on, if they help the biggest tax theft in Germany
uncover? On a recent case is good to read that over
this question in Germany and the Switzerland there is great disagreement.

In Germany, the answer to the question is usually yes. Investigators have even bought CDs of informants,
which contain confidential banking information from alleged tax evaders
were. And so will
also the Stuttgart lawyer Eckart Seith in this country of public prosecutors
and tax investigators highly esteemed for giving them explosive files he did
on suspected illegal cum-ex trades. The material helped
instrumental in Investigations, the public prosecutor's offices in Cologne, Frankfurt,
Driving forward Munich, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf since 2014

In Switzerland, the prosecutors see the very different. you
want side and two co-defendants in the coming week before the
District Court of Zurich make the process. The prosecutor Zurich has accused Seith of secret treason and industrial espionage. Him
threatened with three years and six months in prison.

The process is another chapter in a tax war,
which Germany and Switzerland have been delivering for many years. But now
The Swiss authorities are under pressure in their own country. This Tuesday
three renowned law professors from Switzerland and Germany
An appraisal that the charge of the Zurich prosecutors in the air

Briefly explained – How the cum-ex-tax scandal has ended
It is probably the biggest tax scandal in German history. How banks and lawyers stole billions, we show in this video.

© Photo: Kerstin Welther

The report was from defendants of the accused in
Order has been given. Neither Seith nor his two co-defendants would have
According to this a secret betrayal or a commercial espionage punishable
The criminal lawyer Ingeborg Zerbes from Bremen, the
Criminologist Mark Pieth from Basel and the commercial lawyer Anton Schnyder from
Zurich. On the contrary, the Swiss state has no interest in the
To shield information that Seith passed on to the German authorities
Has. "Switzerland is not concerned, Swiss banks are facing one
(civil) judicial processing of their possible consultation errors
protect the legal experts in the report, the TIME ONLINE
is present.

The process is about how far the Swiss
Banking secrecy is enough. Germany and Switzerland have been arguing about this for a long time.
Swiss banks had rich German customers using banking secrecy
For decades helped to hide their money from the German tax authorities. The
former German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück even threatened in 2009 that he would become the
Send cavalry to end this practice. Meanwhile that is
Banking secrecy has been relaxed. But the tax war continues.

Last year, ZEIT has detailed the case
Seith reports
, He leads back to the year 2013. At that time engaged the
Ulmer entrepreneur Erwin Müller the lawyer. Müller had the same name
The drugstore chain was built and became a billionaire. From his
Muller had assets of 50 million euros in so-called cum-ex-shops
invested, mediated by the Swiss bank J. Safra Sarasin. Both
Deals was about once paid to the German taxpayers several times
recovered. With this method the German state was for years over
many billions of euros have been robbed.

But things went wrong with Müller. German tax officials
had become suspicious and had stopped the payout. Müller's money
was largely gone. The entrepreneur did not want to accept that. He
argued that he did not know what he was investing in exactly.


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