Exclusive Deutsche Bank Employees to Appear in Court in Carbon Emissions-Trading Case

Deutsche Bank employees will appear in a German court in February for their alleged role in a Europe-wide tax evasion ring involving trading in carbon dioxide emissions certificates. A spokesperson for the court in Frankfurt said it set the trial after allegations were brought against seven suspended employees and one former employee of Germany’s largest bank. The accused are charged with “collective tax evasion” and are to appear in court on February 15 and then twice a week through May. Frankfurt prosecutors back in August filed charges with the local court , accusing the Deutsche Bank employees of participating in a Europe-wide ring between 2009 and 2010. It’s part of a long-running European investigation into tax fraud, in which companies sought to evade taxes through a web of import, export and carbon-emissions trading activities between firms and governments in the European Union. Deutsche Bank has already paid €220 million in back taxes, and the Frankfurt court so far has sentenced nine people from other companies in the scandal, handing out fines and prison sentences. Those charged at Deutsche Bank were employees who dealt with business clients, commodities traders, employees in trading and tax divisions, and the head of carbon emissions certificate trading at the bank. Deutsche Bank itself and its top managers have not yet been targeted by prosecutors, however authorities still are investigating 15 individuals. They include co-chief executive Jürgen Fitschen, who will leave the bank this year, and former chief financial officer Stefan Krause. Both reportedly signed tax declarations related to the scandal falsely requesting tax rebates. Prosecutors reportedly want to wait for the outcome of the February trial before considering whether to move ahead with any other formal charges.   Reporting by Laura de la Motte .