The offices of the US investment bank in Frankfurt have been searched by state authorities due to the activities of former employees dating back to the early 2000s.
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The Frankfurt offices of Merrill Lynch, part of Bank of America Corp, were raided on Tuesday as part of the investigation into the former vice president. Bloomberg News and Handelsblatt report on the matter.
No investigations against the bank itself
The Cologne prosecutor’s office did not name any, but a Bank of America spokesperson confirmed the search. The investment bank said the investigations related to “historic activities dating back to 2006” and that the bank was working with authorities to help them.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, not the financial companies that were sought in this matter were investigated, but three former employees are suspects. Their private apartments were also searched. Investigators are looking for potential clients to Cum-Ex and related deals. There were about 80 police officers and tax officers on duty.
Merrill Lynch has long been involved in the German investigation into the tax scandal. The name and alleged role of the investment bank is a regular topic in court documents and also in key hearings in previous proceedings.
Meanwhile, the incorrect tax law has cost the state dearly
As a reminder: Cum-Ex was a trading strategy that cost the German state at least ten billion euros. Named after the Latin term for “with-without,” cum-ex investors have taken advantage of rumored German tax laws to allow many investors to claim tax refunds as soon as they are paid. Germany discontinued this practice in 2012. (aa)