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Germany

Man Who Blackmailed Liechtenstein Bank Given 63 Months In Jail

A man who blackmailed a Liechtenstein bank, threatening to expose a list of tax-shy German customers, has been sentenced in Germany to 63 months in jail for extortion.

The Liechtensteinische Landesbank logo

The LLB gave the blackmailer 9 million euros

His two co-accused were given suspended jail terms by the court in the port city of Rostock on Friday, Jan. 23. Michael F., the leader of the scheme, demanded 13 million euros ($17 million) from Liechtensteinische Landesbank (LLB) and did obtain 9 million euros.

The case highlighted tax evasion by rich Germans who open secret "offshore" bank accounts in the Alpine principality of Liechtenstein and "forget" to report the earnings to German tax officials.

In a different case, German intelligence paid for a disk of leaked data from a different Liechtenstein bank, LGT.

In Rostock, judges said the trio had obtained statements for 2,300 bank accounts thought to have belonged to rich Germans.

Prosecutors said the defendant had a long criminal record and should be kept in precautionary custody after serving his minimum sentence, but the court declined this. His surname was withheld by German media because of defamation laws.

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