BERLIN (AP) — A group of media outlets led by Germany's non-profit Correctiv are reporting traders have manipulated transactions in multiple European countries over years, draining tax coffers of some 55.2 billion euros ($63.5 billion).
In Germany alone traders were able to garner 31.8 billion euros in so-called "Cum-Ex" trades, involving receiving multiple reimbursements for capital gains taxes paid only once. Prosecutors in Cologne are leading an investigation in Germany, but refused comment Thursday.
As it investigated in Germany, Correctiv in 2017 obtained files indicating it was much more widely spread, and enlisted others to help. Overall, 38 journalists from a dozen European countries analyzed 180,000 pages of files.
They uncovered trades in Italy, France, Norway, Denmark, Finland and elsewhere.
Correctiv editor-in-chief Oliver Schroem says the scheme's "a robbery, a theft from the tax purse."