BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Luxembourg court has charged a French journalist with aiding the leaking of confidential information at accounting firm PWC, which led to the disclosures about custom made tax deals for large corporations known as LuxLeaks.
The Luxembourg court’s decision comes after two former employees of PWC were charged with theft, breaching professional confidentiality and fraudulent access to data systems, in December and January.
“The judge charged him with being the co-author, or accomplice, of the offences committed by one of the former PWC employees,” the court said in a statement. It did not name the journalist.
The leaked documents showed that large corporations including PepsiCo, AIG and Deutsche Bank, secured deals from Luxembourg to slash their tax bills.
Tax avoidance is legal but companies which use complex structures to reduce their tax bills are coming under increasing scrutiny from the public, and legislators internationally, who have promised to crack down on the practices.
Following the LuxLeaks disclosures, the European Union introduced rules which obliged member states to tell neighbors about new cross-border tax rulings and also have to divulge information on existing deals within three months.
Two years ago, a Swiss court sentenced a German-born man to three years in jail for selling client data from Swiss bank Julius Baer to the German tax authorities.
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Alison Williams