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German Tax Evasion Resurfaces With Report of Liechtenstein Bank-Disk Offer - Bloomb...

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German Tax Evasion Resurfaces With Report of


Liechtenstein Bank-Disk Offer
By Patrick Donahue and Holger Elfes - Jul 22, 2010

The German government may be about to step up its pursuit of tax evaders amid reports that a new
CD containing stolen bank data has been offered for sale to state authorities.

Schleswig-Holstein, the most northerly of Germany’s 16 states, is in talks with an unidentified


source to buy the CD containing details of “hundreds” of people with money hidden in a bank in
Liechtenstein, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported today, without saying where it got the
information. The data relates to accounts worth 500 million euros ($641 million) at
Liechtensteinische Landesbank, the Munich-based newspaper said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government recouped 200 million euros in back taxes from a disk with
data from Liechtenstein purchased in 2008, and has bought further CDs with details of tax evasion
involving accounts in Switzerland. The latest CD is at least the seventh to be offered to German
authorities and Schleswig-Holstein will probably buy it, the Sueddeutsche said.

Cyrill Sele, a spokesman for Liechtensteinische Landesbank, called the report “speculation.”
Speaking by phone from the capital Vaduz today, he said the bank has no information regarding a
stolen CD and declined to comment further. The state government in Schleswig-Holstein won’t
comment on the report, “neither to confirm nor deny it,” Torsten Borchers, a spokesman for the
state’s Finance Ministry, said in an e-mail.

Germany’s government has ruffled relations with Switzerland and Liechtenstein and upset
members of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party over the purchase of tax information from
thieves. Stefan Mappus, the CDU prime minister of Baden- Wuerttemberg, turned down a disk
offered to the state in February, saying the purchase was legally risky.

Another state, Lower Saxony, bought the disk last month, sharing the reported cost of 185,000
euros with the federal government in Berlin. The Finance Ministry said it contained information on
about 20,000 Swiss bank accounts. Lower Saxony expects to reap tax revenue from the CD in the
“double-digit millions” of euros, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2010-07-22/german-tax-evasion-resurfaces-with-re... 2/10/2011
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To contact the reporters on this story: Holger Elfes in Dusseldorf at helfes@bloomberg.net; Patrick
Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net.

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2010-07-22/german-tax-evasion-resurfaces-with-re... 2/10/2011