Three cousins of former Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou – whose names were erased from a 2,062 Greeks with $1.95 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts reportedly evaded more than 5.3 million euros ($7 million) in taxes, according to a report from the financial crimes squad SDOE given to a parliamentary committee investigating his handling of the affair.
It said they owe a total of some 10 million euros ($13.22 million) including penalties that haven’t been assessed. None have been prosecuted and the list was never checked for possible tax evasion, even three years after it was first obtained.
Papaconstantinou is also being charged with breach of trust for not acting on the list he obtained from former French finance minister Christine Lagarde in 2010.
He said the list disappeared but a copy resurfaced later in the hands of his successor, Evangelos Venizelos, now head of the PASOK Socialists, who is not being investigated although he, too, kept it in his pocket and never checked for possible tax cheats.
The findings of SDOE were delivered to the Parliament which is still deliberating Papaconstantinou’s fate. ProtoThema reported that the information states that Helen Papakonstantinou and her husband Simeon Sykiaridis owe 4.1 million euros ($5.42 million.) For the other cousin of the former Finance Minister, Marina Papakonstantinou, and her husband Andreas Rossonis, the hidden taxable items reach 1.2 million euros ($1.58 million).
During the tax audit, SDOE agents compared the reported income of the families of the two Papakonstantinou cousins to their deposits in all Greek banks, thereby identifying the large difference of 5.3 million euros ($7 million).
Following the completion of a tax audit by the Cyber Crime Unit, unnamed officials directed the names be removed so that they wouldn’t have to face an audit, ProtoThema reported.