(Bloomberg) -- Hanno Berger, a key figure in the sprawling Cum-Ex tax scandal, should get nine years in prison, prosecutors said in closing arguments at a German criminal trial.
Berger should be found guilty of three counts of aggravated tax evasion, Cologne prosecutors said on Tuesday, according to a court statement. The tribunal was also asked to seize €27.3 million ($28.7 million) from him. A verdict is scheduled for Dec. 13.
Berger was a central player in the tax scandal and dubbed the “mastermind” of the controversial tax trading strategy, Cum-Ex. Once Germany’s most profitable tax lawyer, he fled the country in 2012 when his Frankfurt law firm was raided. After more than nine years in Switzerland, he was extradited in February. He’s also standing trial in another German court in a case.
Cum-Ex took advantage of laws that seemed to allow duplicate refunds on dividend taxes that siphoned off massive amounts of government revenue over several years. Germany is looking at more than 1,500 suspects from across the financial industry in probes linked to the practice.
Berger’s lawyer, Richard Beyer, didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
(Updates with contact line for lawyer in final paragraph)
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