Lagarde List Probe Finds Rampant Tax Cheating

Lagarde List2

More than 3 1/2 years after first receiving it, Greece is speeding the pace of looking into a list of 2,062 citizens with $1.95 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts and after only 72 inspections has found the depositors owe between 5,000 to 5 million euros each in unpaid taxes.

That was discovered by the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) which has only had 172 cases assigned so far, little more than eight percent of the total, showing the potential for massive tax fraud. No one on the list has been prosecuted.

The probe began last year but was overwhelming, authorities said, but added they’ve finally made some progress after increasing the number of staff on the case from four to 16. The agency previously said it didn’t have investigators skilled at checking bank records.

The list was given in 2010 to then finance minister George Papaconstantinou by his French colleague Christine Lagarde, now Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s international lenders. It came from a CD stolen from the Geneva branch of HSBC.

Papaconstantinou said it vanished but after a copy was turned over by his successor, now Socialist chief Evangelos Venizelos, an investigation began and Papaconstantinou was charged after it was found the names of three of his relatives had been erased. He denied any wrongdoing.

Venizelos was not charged although he said he couldn’t check the list for possible tax evaders because it was stolen material, although Lagarde said other countries had used names from their citizens as evidence.

An unnamed SDOE official told the newspaper Kathimerini said that notices have already been sent to the individuals probed by their tax authorities. He also said that he expects the probe into the remaining 107 files to be completed within the next 10 days.

The official added that he is optimistic after an initial team of four inspectors was augmented by an additional 12 with more expertise in data processing and in analyzing banking transactions.


  • The Truth is…

    Lagarde List won’t be disclosed fully to the Public as it will endanger the government and all politicians past and present and it may cause the downfall of this present government…

  • Polycrates

    Eventually it will be “investigated” however by that time all the individuals named in the List have either sheltered their assets, moved out of the country or died from extreme age. This is one of those issues that has undermined the integrity of ND and PASOK to the extent the former will be out of power and the latter extinct. It demonstrates the power of an influential few has on the nation to the extent the coalition parties are willing to be crushed in an election rather than give up their patrons, friends, family members, etc…..

  • Tonto

    Consider the math here–not in what was found so far to be owed to the Greek state astounding enough), but in terms of TIME IT HAS TAKEN.

    Considering only 72 cases of the 2062 have been investigated in 3 1/2 years, that your mean the entire number of accounts would take exactly 100 years to check into.

  • Thinktank

    “No one on the list has been prosecuted”. How surprising. An official “is optimistic”. Really?

    I am not.

  • Leftist censorship

    It is being investigated not “eventually”. The irony is the leftists voted for Pasok while meanwhile it war a Samaras lead government that they love to hate that pushed hte investigation forward.

  • everygoodboydeservesfavour

    No way that this investigation can be described as being ‘pushed forward’. They have dragged their heels and had Lagarde not made the list public, it would have remained below the radar, like so much else that passes for the modus operandi of successive Greek governments. It has only been publicity, both national and international, that has forced Samaras’s hand on this issue. Since no doubt, a number of his supporters, peers and cronies are on this list too, I’m sure he would rather it not surfaced at all!

  • Polycrates

    It was both parties that voted to have DPM and former Finance Minister Venizelos immune from investigation. Suggest researching when the Lagarde List first surfaced and who has been investigated. Meanwhile political opponents (GD) have been jailed and declared guilty without so ever a trial.

  • Leftist censorship

    I agree there has been some hypocrisy. The government cracked down on violent rightwing extremists and hasn’t done the same. However the solution to this is not to go soft of Golden Dawn, its to start imprisoning undemocratic leftist thugs that use violence to further their political ends.

  • Leftist censorship

    You are not a “patrioti”. You are a treasonous non-Greek citizens that effectively colludes with Skopians threatening our country.

  • Polycrates

    A crack down now will be perceived as the coalition eliminating the opposition using its authority over ministers and the justice system rather than elections. It’s too late to rearrange the deck chairs because the deck is already awash.

  • Leftist censorship

    Not if the crackdown is on both sides of the political spectrum. Now is the perfect time to deal with both violent far right and far left extremists.

  • Polycrates

    “PASOK and ND tax cheats” lets keep speculation separate from reality.
    With the exception of Akis Tsochatzopoulos who pocketed “commissions” and “minor issues” never fully investigated like Michalis Liapis there has been very very few investigations. Cowardly ND MPs like Gerasimos Giakoumatos put their wives, brothers and other family members on the hot seat for their willful and obvious tax evasion.

  • Leftist censorship

    That’s not true. There are lots of investigations going on (unlike when leftist Pasok was in power)