Double blow: The tax lawyer Hanno Berger was convicted by two regional courts, in Bonn and here in Wiesbaden. He has appealed to the Federal Court of Justice.
Photo: Pool / Getty Images
The-ex complex is considered the biggest tax scandal in German history. In total, around 50 banks and other financial companies are involved. Through a system of sophisticated stock trades around the dividend record date, they had taxes refunded that they had never paid. The loot: a double-digit billion amount.
For years, several public prosecutor's offices throughout Germany have been working on the investigation of mass fraud: in Frankfurt am Main, in Munich, in Stuttgart and, above all, in Cologne. There, under senior public prosecutor Anne Brorhilker (49), the vast majority of proceedings against the more than 1800 accused are underway. So far, there have only been eight verdicts in German courts, against a total of twelve people. An overview.
These are the-ex judgments so far:
Historical verdict: Two former HVB dealers were the first to stand trial for their involvement in-ex transactions. In March 2020, the Regional Court of Bonn sentenced the Northern Irishman Martin S. to one year and ten months probation and the Briton Nicholas D. to one year probation. It was the first-ex verdict that the Federal Court of Justice later confirmed.
The Warburg Complex: Christian S., the former chief representative and once right-hand man of long-time bank boss Christian Olearius, was the first of a whole series of Warburg managers to stand trial. In June 2021, the Bonn Regional Court sentenced him to five years and six months in prison for tax evasion.
Partial confession: The former manager of Warburg Invest, Detlef M., initially defended himself before the Bonn Regional Court, but caved in in the course of the trial and admitted mistakes. In the end, the sentence was: three years and six months in prison.
"The Godfather" and his accomplices: Maple Bank was only a niche player, but caused damage of almost 400 million euros in the-ex scandal and also fell over it. Ex-Germany boss Wolfgang Schuck, who was referred to as the "godfather" in internal emails, as well as three other former managers, were sentenced by the Frankfurt Regional Court in November 2022. Four years and four months in prison for Schuck, four and three and a half years in prison for two others, and two years probation for the fourth defendant.
Continuous process: The indictment, the former HVB dealers Andreas B. and Michael G., was already admitted in 2018. The process dragged on, partly because of the Corona pandemic. It was not until November 2022 that the Wiesbaden Regional Court announced its verdict: suspended sentences of two years and one year and two months.
The King's Fall: Tax lawyer Hanno Berger was the mastermind of the-ex constructs. He had evaded German justice for years by fleeing to Switzerland. He was extradited in February 2022 and sentenced to eight years in prison at the Bonn Regional Court last December. In May, a verdict by the Wiesbaden Regional Court was added: eight years and three months in prison. The two sentences can be combined for a total sentence of up to 15 years. However, the judgments are not yet final. Berger, on the other hand, has appealed to the Federal Court of Justice.
Lenient sentence: The case against a former Duet Group trader was separated from a trial against three ex-Duet executives, including founder Henry Gabay. The ex-trader got off with two years probation in May 2023.