Deutsche Bank to pay $554 million in tax shelter case

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Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) — Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest bank, agreed to pay $553.6 million to avoid U.S. criminal prosecution over fraudulent tax shelters that generated $29 billion in “bogus” tax losses.

The U.S. Justice Department agreed not to prosecute the Frankfurt-based bank for fraud or tax evasion for enabling wealthy U.S. citizens to avoid $5.9 billion in taxes, after the bank admitted criminal wrongdoing, according to an agreement entered into today by the U.S. Justice Department and the bank.

The settlement includes a $149 million civil penalty, the fees that Deutsche Bank generated from the shelters, and the taxes and penalties the Internal Revenue Service was unable to collect from taxpayers because of the misconduct, according to the agreement.

From 1996 to 2002, “Deutsche Bank assisted high net worth United States citizens, who, through 2005, reported approximately $29.3 billion in bogus tax benefits on their tax returns,” the agreement says. “DB acknowledges that it was wrong and unlawful to have engaged in these transactions and regrets having done so.”

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