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German court starts trial against six accused of dividend stripping

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A regional court in the German city of Wiesbaden said on Tuesday it had opened proceedings against six people accused in connection with dividend stripping.

Dividend stripping, known as cum-ex, typically involves cross-border trading of company shares around a syndicate of banks, investors and hedge funds to create the impression of numerous owners, each of whom was entitled to a tax rebate.

The court did not give any names for the accused.

In September 2017, the public prosecutors’ office in Frankfurt had brought charges against lawyer Hanno Berger and five former traders of the HypoVereinsbank for serious tax evasion. The regional court in Wiesbaden has since been deciding on whether to allow the indictment. Berger has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Tassilo Hummel