Why Germany Is Paying Millions in Ransom For Stolen Bank Data

Tristiana Moore reports:

The announcement may have caused some super-rich Germans to tremble in their designer shoes. On Tuesday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaüble said the government has agreed to buy a computer CD from an anonymous informant that contains the stolen bank details of up to 1,500 people suspected of evading German taxes by stashing their money away in Swiss bank accounts.

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Two years ago, Germany paid an informant $6.3 million to obtain stolen bank details for several hundred members of the LGT banking group who were suspected of evading taxes by putting their money in bank accounts in Liechtenstein. That deal reportedly helped the government recover $250 million in lost revenue by the end of last year. One of the suspects, Klaus Zumwinkel, the former head of Deutsche Post, was also convicted of tax evasion and received a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of $1.4 million. “We can’t do the opposite now of what we did two years ago,” Schaüble said in an interview with ZDF public television on Monday night.

Read more in Time.

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