Two British nationals have been charged with unlawfully obtaining more than 9bn Danish crowns ($1.5bn, £1.1bn) through a sham trading scheme that allegedly involved making double tax reclaims as far back as 2016.
The pair are accused of submitting more than 3,000 applications to the Danish Treasury on behalf of investors and companies from several countries around the world in order to receive dividend tax refunds, according to the state authorities.
The fraud, dubbed as ‘cum-ex’ trading, is a dividend stripping scheme and involves tax evasion.
The accused duo could face a maximum sentence of up to 12 years imprisonment.
The two defendants “committed cynical and meticulously planned fraud” in a case described as being “extremely serious,” Reuters reported quoting state authorities.
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One of the accused lives in Dubai while the other is based in the UK. Prosecutors are planning to use all tools at their disposal to bring the defendants to Denmark to face trial.
“We are not so naive, that we think they will appear in Denmark on their own in a trial where they risk many years in prison,” state prosecutor Per Fiig told Reuters.
The fraud scheme was allegedly carried out with the support of multiple individuals in Germany, Belgium and the UK.
Prosecutors said they have seized more than 3bn Danish crowns worth of assets in relation to the case so far, but the remaining amount is proving difficult to retrieve.
Last year in March, two British bankers were sentenced and fined by the German state over €400m (£363m) in double tax rebates in the country’s biggest post-war fraud trial. While they have been penalised and one of the parties was ordered to pay €14m back to the state, authorities doubt they will ever be able to recover the rest of the money, according to Deutsche Welle, a German broadcaster.
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