Court reduces sentences of ex-PwC LuxLeaks whistleblowers
A pair of former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees received reduced prison sentences after they exposed the secret tax breaks offered by Luxembourg to some multinational companies such as Apple, Ikea, Walt Disney, PepsiCo and Microsoft’s Skype.
Former PwC employee Antoine Deltour received a suspended sentence last June of 12 months in prison and a 1,500-euro fine, while another former employee, Raphael Halet, received a nine-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay a 1,000-euro fine (see Ex-PwC duo get suspended jail terms, fines in LuxLeaks trial). A Luxembourg court reduced Deltour’s sentence Wednesday to a six-month suspended sentence and the 1,500-euro fine, while Halet’s penalty was reduced to the 1,000-euro fine in lieu of the prison sentence, according to the German news site Deutsch Welle.
They leaked the secret tax arrangements to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which posted the cache of documents in 2014. A French investigative journalist, Edouard Perrin, who produced documentaries for French television about the revelations, was cleared last year.
One advocacy group was disappointed that the PwC whistleblowers weren’t cleared completely. “The LuxLeaks whistleblowers acted in the public interest to reveal corporate tax avoidance, so today’s verdict is a disappointing outcome for advocates for transparency,” said ActionAid head of advocacy Charlie Matthews in a statement Wednesday. “Luxleaks helped reveal the secretive deals which enable companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax. The world’s poorest countries are the biggest losers when companies don’t pay the right amount of tax and leave key public services underfunded. The information revealed in the LuxLeaks scandal should never have been secret in the first place. The EU and UK should make sure this never happens again by ensuring companies reveal how much tax they pay in every country where they operate.”