I’m surprised to see that this has gotten almost no notice outside of the affected countries. Surprised because for all the stuff uncovered, this is almost certainly only the tip of a much larger iceberg.
Short summary: A network of international finance people and lawyers together with some of the world’s largest banks (Barclay’s, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Banco Santander, Deutsche Bank, etc) have systematically defrauded up to 10 European Nations (including Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France, Italy and Norway) and probably many more of a sum that amounts to at least 55 billion euro.
The system was essentially tax fraud (they’ll say “loopholes”, of course) on a vast scale, with the company paying taxes on dividends, and then exploiting international tax rules to have those same money refunded up to 10x. It is fraud directed explicitly against the state; i.e., your money and mine. Documentation exists to show that in many cases these transactions were approved right from the very top leadership of these banks.
The transactions are now being investigated as fraud in several countries (though no doubt the culprits will go free - as usual).