Screenshot / Interpol
The international police authority Interpol has alerted the New Zealand banker Paul Robert Mora worldwide.
A New Zealand banker wanted in Germany for his alleged involvement in tax fraud in the millions claims he was just exploiting a loophole.
Paul Robert Mora, 54, who lives in Christchurch, is charged with around $ 200 million in Germany for his alleged key role in ripping off German taxpayers.
He and others merely exploited a legitimate loophole in German tax law to create a financial product for banks and customers.
But last week the Federal Court of Justice, the highest court in Germany, excluded the defense on the grounds that the transactions called Cum-Ex, in which Mora specializes, are criminal and violate clear rules.
* Interpol wanted New Zealand banker living in luxury in Christchurch
* Why a kiwi who is accused of financial crime in Germany does not take part in his trial
* Co-defendant of the defendant Kiwi Paul Robert Mora found guilty in a separate cum-ex trial in Bonn
The ruling paves the way for a series of proceedings in which banks and financiers work en masse to obtain tax refunds more than once for the same amount of capital gains tax paid.
A lower court had already described the deals, which collected around 20 billion dollars from the federal government’s tax coffers, as “collective theft”. The deals in various mutations were eventually used across Europe and are said to have cost European taxpayers around $ 100 billion.
In response to the development, Mora said through his London lawyer Iain Mackie that the German allegations were “fundamentally misunderstood”.
“The German prosecutors have resorted to a number of flawed trials … Mr. Mora continues to reserve all of his rights to remain in his home country as a New Zealand citizen,” Mackie said in a statement.
He said Mora was unaware that German authorities had initiated extradition proceedings.
A New Zealand police spokesman said police helped German authorities last year by confirming Mora was in New Zealand.
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Mora is linked to a major section on Godley Drive in the Christchurch suburb of Scarborough where he plans to build.
When Interpol released a red clue for Mora’s arrest in February, police couldn’t respond because New Zealand law didn’t give them the power to arrest a red clue, the spokesman said.
Germany could make an extradition request that would be examined by the Ministry of Justice.
The department’s chief legal advisor, Edrick Child, told Stuff that the department had not commented on whether extradition requests had been received for named individuals.
The Federal Court of Justice ruled on an appeal from bankers Martin Shields and Nicolas Diable, as well as the private Deutsche Bank MM Warburg, a bank linked to the charges against the couple.
Shields and Diable were convicted by the Bonn District Court in March of last year for fraud against the German tax authorities amounting to around $ 800 million. They were given suspended sentences after being approved to cooperate with the authorities.
The Bonn court also confiscated around $ 300 million from MM Warburg.
Shields worked for Mora at HypoVereinsbank in London between 2006 and 2008 and then until 2010 at Mora’s company Ballance Capital, based in Gibraltar.
Shields, an Irish mathematician and a graduate of Oxford University, was fined about $ 25 million.
He told the Bonn court that his personal income from the stores over five years was approximately $ 20 million.
The Federal Court of Justice ruling isn’t the only bad news for Mora this year.
In July, Hanno Berger, a German tax officer turned tax attorney who allegedly was the architect of the Cum-Ex deals and worked with Mora, was arrested in Switzerland and extradited to Germany. In response to Stuff questions in 2017, Mora described Berger as a “respected and outstanding” tax attorney.
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Mora stayed at Scarborough Fare 9, which overlooks the ocean and the Southern Alps.
In June a former MM Warburg manager was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for tax evasion in connection with the Cum-Ex deals.
Mora lives in a luxury home on Christchurch’s Scarborough Hill overlooking the ocean and the Southern Alps and runs a large Canterbury real estate portfolio that includes dairy farms, the Crown Plaza building on Colombo St, and block of flats developments.
He has worldwide property and financial interests.
He was unavailable on Tuesday. He is believed to be on a ski holiday in the South Island with his wife and three children, who usually live in the UK.
Until 2015, Mora was the director of an exclusive restaurant called The Cinnamon Club near the House of Commons in London, which was popular with politicians and business people. According to the German newspaper Die Zeit, the restaurant was the place where cum-ex deals were invented and later celebrated, and an insider dubbed it the “cum-ex lounge”.