Deutsche Bank's failure to turn over e-mails in a tax probe that led to the arrest last year of five employees may have been caused by errors at International Business Machines, which managed the bank’s data storage.
Bloomberg reports that the December 2012 arrests were based on prosecutors’ claims that Deutsche Bank withheld e-mails from the last week of April 2010 in the accounts of employees suspected of participating in a tax scheme related to carbon emission certificates.
A month after the arrests, an IBM employee said in a letter to prosecutors that staff at the computer services company mixed up the dates of its monthly data-storage operations. The confusion may have meant the e-mails from the last week of the month were left out of documents turned over to investigators, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Bloomberg News.
Police arrested the five employees, who included the bank’s then head of litigation, in a raid on the lender’s office a year ago this month. Four of the employees spent more than a week in prison and were released days before Christmas, when prosecutors said there was no longer a risk of evidence tampering.
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