Germany pays 1.5 mln euros for Julius Baer data

* CD contains 200 sets of data-Muenster prosecutor’s office

* Baer will not comment

* Switzerland seeking to tie up key tax deal with Germany

FRANKFURT/ZURICH, Oct 18 (BestGrowthStock) – German prosecutors paid
around 1.5 million euros ($2.1 million) for client data from
Swiss bank Julius Baer (BAER.VX: ), part of its two-pronged
campaign to clamp down on untaxed German wealth held in
Switzerland.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office in the German city
of Muenster said on Monday the state of North Rhine Westphalia
had bought a CD containing 200 sets of data.

The purchase happened earlier this summer and the proceeds
had been donated to a charity, the spokeswoman said.

Baer spokesman Martin Somogyi would not comment.

Germany, along with Italy, the United States and France, has
been one of the most fervent critics of Switzerland’s banking
secrecy laws and has paid in the past for stolen data from Swiss
banks in order to catch tax cheats.
The pressure has already prompted Switzerland to relax its
cherished bank secrecy and comply with international disclosure
standards.

Germany and Switzerland are also seeking to finalise a deal
by the end of October that will clarify tax disclosure rules for
Switzerland’s multi-trillion-dollar wealth management industry.
[ID:nLDE69F0BP]

The aim is to resolve the problem of an estimated 200
billion euros of untaxed German wealth hidden in Switzerland.

In July, German prosecutors raided every Credit Suisse
(CSGN.VX: ) office in Germany after an analysis of a compact disc
with names of 1,500 alleged tax dodgers obtained by tax
authorities. [ID:nLDE66F1HT]

A bitter dispute between the U.S. tax authorities and UBS
(UBSN.VX: ) damaged the Swiss industry’s reputation and forced the
banking giant to agree to hand over the names of about 4,450
clients to Washington.

In 2008, Germany paid for data stolen from Liechtenstein’s
top bank LGT. Former Deutsche Post chief Klaus Zumwinkel’s
Liechtenstein trust was uncovered in that data. He received a
suspended jail sentence after admitting tax evasion.

Since the Credit Suisse client CD fell into the hands of tax
authorities in Germany, more than 10,000 people have confessed
to evading taxes to state authorities, German media have said.

Under German law, those who report undeclared income
themselves and pay back tax plus interest owed before an
investigation is started are exempt from prosecution.
(Reporting by Anneli Palmen in Duesseldorf and Jason Rhodes in
Zurich; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Andrew Callus)
($1 = 0.7193 euro)

Germany pays 1.5 mln euros for Julius Baer data