Probe indicates ex-minister and wife failed to declare some 3 million euros
Former minister Yiannos Papantoniou and his wife failed to declare around 3 million euros of income and could face misdemeanor and felony charges if they do not pay the required tax.
It emerged on Thursday that a Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) probe into the couple found that their expenses were greater than their declared income. The investigation was ordered by prosecutor Popi Papandreou after it emerged that Papantoniou’s wife, Roula Kourakou, was one of the names on the Lagarde list of some 2,000 Greeks who had deposits at the Geneva branch of HSBC.
Kourakou’s account allegedly contained 2.2 million dollars that were not declared to tax authorities. The couple was bailed in April after being questioned about the money. Papantoniou insists that the allegations relate to money that he had abroad but which was repatriated and taxed. He claims that authorities are seeking to tax this income for a second time.
SDOE’s findings have to be rubber-stamped by Papantoniou’s tax office before any action can be taken. The couple will be given a chance to pay the tax that authorities believe has been evaded. Only if they fail to pay this amount will the case file be forwarded to prosecutors so charges can be brought against Kourakou and Papantoniou, who served at the Defense and Economy and Finance ministries.