(Bloomberg) Luxembourg’s criminal court handed out suspended jail terms and fines to former PricewaterhouseCoopers staffers Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet for their role in the so-called LuxLeaks scandal.
Deltour and Halet were given suspended sentences of 12 months and 9 months and were ordered to pay fines of 1,500 euros ($1,670) and 1,000 euros for the theft of hundreds of confidential tax files that helped unleash a global scandal over generous fiscal deals for hundreds of international companies.
The ruling “puts on guard future whistle-blowers,” Deltour told reporters. “The message from the Luxembourg court is that if you see billions of euros” treated “in a doubtful fiscal manner, the court invites you to close your eyes and above all, not to talk to anyone.”
The pair were also ordered to pay a symbolic 1 euro of compensation to their former employer. Their lawyers said they would appeal the convictions.
Deltour, 30, was the main source behind LuxLeaks, the revelations in 2014 of detailed documents showing how companies, including Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp.’s Skype and PepsiCo Inc., moved money around the globe to avoid taxes. During the trial, Deltour said he wasn’t fully aware of what he had discovered when he copied a folder of about 45,000 pages detailing confidential tax agreements on the eve of his departure from PwC in 2010.
Halet was charged on the same counts in January 2015. Perrin was charged in April 2015 over his role as “co-author, if not an accomplice, in the infractions committed by a former employee of PwC,” which prosecutors later clarified was Halet.
Journalist Edouard Perrin was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The LuxLeaks revelations sped beyond Luxembourg, causing European Union regulators to expand a tax-subsidy probe and propose new laws to fight corporate tax dodging, while EU lawmakers created a special committee to probe fiscal deals across the 28-nation bloc.
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