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Court affirms ex-Deutsche Bank employee's jail sentence over carbon tax fraud

Germany's Federal Court of Justice sentenced former Deutsche Bank AG employee Helmut Hohnholz to three years in prison for his part in a tax evasion scheme related to carbon emissions trading in 2009 and 2010, Reuters reported May 15.

The ruling affirmed a 2016 lower-court judgment of Hohnholz, who served as a sales manager at Deutsche Bank's global markets division. At the time, the judge said Hohnholz coordinated the trading of carbon emission permits in Germany for the lender and was "the culprit, not the helper" in fraudulently collecting €145 million in taxes.

The court also backed convictions of three other former Deutsche Bank employees, who received suspended prison sentences, while the case of one former employee of the lender's tax accounting division was referred back to the lower court as his active participation in the scheme could not be fully proven.

Seven former Deutsche Bank employees were originally on trial in the case. Two had accepted the court ruling, while Hohnholz and the other four had appealed it. German prosecutors had also appealed the judgment, arguing that four of the defendants should have been sentenced as culprits instead of only accessories to the crime, Reuters noted.