Dusseldorf Hostility is nothing new for Eckart Seith. Since the Stuttgart lawyer took over the mandate of the drugstore entrepreneur Erwin Müller seven years ago, he has been in trouble: bankers and colleagues have been outlawing Seith like a leper. Many from the money industry see him as a nest polluter.
The Swiss judiciary even put the 63-year-old on the dock. Seith was acquitted of the accusation of industrial espionage, and he was given a suspended sentence for betraying the secret. He called the verdict “dirty” and appealed.
Bank J. Safra Sarasin has now made an exorbitant claim in a “legal request”: The bank is demanding a potential 58 million euros in damages from Seith and two former employees who had teamed up with him.
The trio’s supposed secret betrayal had cost the bank so much money. On February 28, 2020, the bank attorneys sent the letter to the Justice Department in Oberägeri.
The scenes of the case seem like from a film about the Italian mafia, but they take place in the world of a Swiss bank. J. Safra Sarasin helped investors to exempt the German state. With so-called cum-ex trade, the tax offices were fooled into believing that there were two owners of the same share. One of them paid a capital gains tax, and they both had it “reimbursed”.
Sarasin offered funds in which the double-digit returns of the investors came directly from the German tax office – a total of 462 million euros. Since then, he has been instrumental in uncovering this.
His work was not entirely unselfish. Erwin Müller came to him in 2013. The drugstore entrepreneur had twice invested 50 million euros each in Cum-Ex funds. To date, Müller states that he did not know that these were cum-ex products. He reduced the return of a good ten percent each.
The third time he invested 50 million euros again, this time through Sarasin. Then everything went wrong.
Insiders found at Sarasin
The tax office refused to refund the tax, Müller not only waited in vain for the return, but lost his stake. The bank was waiting for the 25 million euros that he had borrowed for the business. Müller turned to Seith.
The lawyer then did something amazing. Ever since found an insider at Sarasin. The lawyer had warned internally of great risks with Cum-Ex, but had not got through. He told Seith about it – and gave him an expert opinion that Müller saw great chances of being compensated.
Seith used the document to sue Sarasin and won. The bank had to pay 55.8 million to Müller, including attorney fees for Seith. In addition, there were own process costs.
Because Seith also passed on incriminating bank documents to the Cologne public prosecutor’s office, proceedings were launched against those responsible at Sarasin for tax evasion – and investor Müller was able to successfully argue in court that he had been cheated. When asked by Handelsblatt, the bank did not want to say anything about the dispute.
Threatening letter to Seith
In the legal request, their logic is explained as follows: Seith should pay, because without his action Sarasin would never have had to pay the damages and all the attorney fees that had to be paid in the Cum-Ex affair. The Swiss criminal court has confirmed that it has operated with information obtained illegally since then.
Since then, the lawsuit has been considered absurd. “The bank apparently believes that a German civil court decides on the basis of an untruthful presentation. Very strange. ”Sarasin has now asked him to file a statute of limitation in order to keep the potential million claims against him open.
The Sarasin attack is a nuisance to Seith, but he is more concerned about a threatening letter that is said to come from a Swiss bank. Since then he wants to wipe out the Swiss financial scene with his cum-ex process.
He should stop doing it. “If you don’t do it, we won’t just work on your car this time,” says the letter. The author describes in detail what could happen to Seith and his family.
Seith immediately filed a criminal complaint. Now the public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart is investigating.
More: Witness bites USB stick – new twist in the bizarre trial against Alexander Falk.