After 58 days of negotiations, the 24th large white collar crime chamber at the Frankfurt Regional Court announced its first verdict in a cum-ex criminal trial.
In the large jury room 165 C of the courthouse, where murder and manslaughter are usually judged, the former top managers and securities dealers of Maple Bank had to take a seat in the dock for the last time on Monday.
Wolfgang Schuck, longtime boss of Maple Bank, has to go to prison for four years and four months for tax evasion and at the same time pay a fine of 96,000 euros.
In addition, the Economic Criminal Court ordered the confiscation of 2.9 million euros from the assets of the 69-year-old banker.
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The American Paul H., once responsible for the European securities trading business, was also sentenced to four years and two months in prison for tax evasion.
In addition to a fine of 60,000 euros, the criminal court ordered the confiscation of around 1.1 million euros from his assets.
The former securities dealer Frank L. has to go to prison for three and a half years for aiding and abetting tax evasion.
In the words of the presiding judge, Werner Gröschel, the complex criminal law processing of the Maple Bank share group transactions was currently "unprecedented in the Federal Republic".
The small banking institution with Canadian roots caused comparatively high damage with its cum-ex transactions and multiple refunds of capital gains tax in the years from 2006 to 2010 - the criminal court estimated this at a total of 374 million euros in the oral verdict.
In addition, a massive criminal energy had come to light in all of the accused, emphasized Judge Gröschel.
Those responsible at Maple Bank had repeatedly adapted the trading strategy to the market situation and the changed legal situation.
Initially, other national companies were used as custodian banks and short sellers, but later external players were added instead.
Houses such as Barclays, Merrill Lynch and the Dutch Fortis Bank took on the role of short seller.
The investigations against the bankers began in 2014. Two years later, the Maple Bank had to be closed by the Bafin due to high additional tax demands, and insolvency followed in autumn 2016.
Cooperation is rewarded
Gröschel made it clear on Monday that one of the accused himself made a key contribution to the investigation.
The former authorized officer Andreas H. had already made a significant contribution to the investigators' understanding of the internal processes at Maple Bank during the investigation.
The Chamber of Commerce sentenced him to a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion.