Fraud Found in German Power Trading by Baden-Wuerttemberg State

The finance ministry in Baden-Wuerttemberg knows of at least one case of fraud in the German power market and last year investigated another potential case in the natural gas market.

“One case has become known in Baden-Wuerttemberg in the power market which led to a tax loss of about 2.8 million euros ($3.6 million),” Frank Kupferschmidt, a spokesman for the Federal State’s finance ministry, said today in an e-mail.

The German Federal Tax Office last month said it found signs of fraud in Europe’s biggest energy market that may be similar to the value-added-tax scam that roiled carbon permit markets in 2009 and 2010. The authority warned traders of the cases and the risks of engaging in illegal trading activities.

“The case of fraud in the power market was revealed after a company made a report to the national grid regulator last year,” Kupferschmidt said. “The number of unrevealed cases is probably very high.”

Also last year, the Baden-Wuerttemberg finance ministry identified a Swiss-based company that “with a very high probability” was involved in plans for value-added tax fraud in the gas market, Kupferschmidt said. He declined to give further details on the case when contacted by telephone.

Under German tax law, the finance ministries in the federal states are responsible for collecting taxes and investigating cases of fraud. Last week the Hamburg finance ministry said it was probing possible fraud in the German power and gas market.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julia Mengewein in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at

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