Utrecht fund suspected of €45m tax dodge; Ex-Minister Bot headed supervisory board

Investment management firm Finles in Utrecht is suspected of tax fraud, according to a report published in the Telegraaf. During the alleged dodging of 45 million euros in dividend tax, former CDA Foreign Minister Ben Bot was the chairman of the supervisory board.

The public prosecutor is investigating if Finles paid a dividend tax on €300 million it received from Teston Finance Investment in Luxembourg, the Telegraaf reported. Finles director Rob van Kuijk confirmed that he is person of interest in the fraud case, along with a co-director, a former director, and a former portfolio manager, but Van Kuijk denied that there was a conspiracy to create a fraudulent business construction.

Former minister Ben Bot, who led the supervisory board at the time period in question, denied knowing anything about the alleged fraudulent business construction. "I don't know what they are talking about. We have never received any notice of wrongdoing or problems with the tax authorities", he told the newspaper. Bot also reported that on Wednesday he received an invitation to meet with FIOD investigators.

The Fiscal Information and Intelligence Service (FIOD), the investigatory arm of the tax authority, raided the offices of the investment business on Tuesday. The company's computers and items related to record-keeping were confiscated, the newspaper said.

Finles is a fund management company founded in 1997, which currently handles 14 marketable investment funds, mainly focused on hedge funds and emerging markets. Its clients are wealthy entrepreneurs, rich families and private and institutional investors. Many of these funds significantly underperformed, the newspaper wrote.