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Execs face jail for carbon dioxide trade tax fraud

The Local · 15 Aug 2011, 15:00

Published: 15 Aug 2011 15:00 GMT+02:00

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In one of Germany's biggest fraud cases the defendants, aged 27 to 65, from Germany, Britain and France, are suspected of cooking up an international system to cheat tax authorities out of more than €230 million euros ($329 million).

"The defendants are accused of involvement in a web of tax fraud," presiding judge Martin Bach said.

The alleged racket targeted the European Union Emission Trading Scheme, the largest multi-national, greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme in the world, with about 12,000 companies on the exchange.

Limits are placed on the amount of carbon dioxide companies may emit, while those which pollute less are free to sell their rights to companies unable to limit their emissions.

Prosecutors in the German business capital Frankfurt say the accused regularly drew tax rebates on emissions certificates for which no taxes had been paid in the first place.

The defendants could face a reduced sentence of between three and nine years in prison if they confess. Otherwise they face up to 10 years' jail if convicted, Bach said.

Authorities have launched a probe against another 160 suspects in the case, including alleged accomplices in the United Arab Emirates, Britain and Switzerland.

Story continues below…

The trial, in which more than 300 witnesses are due to testify, is expected to run until March 2012.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:24 August 15, 2011 by johnny108
The solution is simple: let them breathe what they bought....

ooh! a human can't breathe carbon dioxide.....?

08:51 August 16, 2011 by frankiep
The whole concept of carbon emissions trading is a scheme itself, so these guys were just going along with the spirit of it.
13:27 August 16, 2011 by dbert4
Somehow Goldman-Sachs must have been involved.
13:47 August 16, 2011 by Send Flowers
Let's blame the shareholders.
15:45 August 16, 2011 by derExDeutsche
'Limits are placed on the amount of carbon dioxide companies may emit, while those which pollute less are free to sell their rights to companies unable to limit their emissions.'

that's how I'll make my first Billion; Buy some German Factories, shut them all down, produce nothing, sell Carbon Dioxide credits !!!!
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