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Criminal Defence in Cases of Subsidy Fraud

Defence in criminal proceedings on grounds of subsidy fraud has been important for many years. The experience our defence lawyers have gathered as experts over many years has confirmed that the application for subsidies involves many pitfalls. For example, what is a fact relevant for subsidies? Many other questions also arise in criminal proceedings. When does the applicant act recklessly or even on the basis of premeditation? This can be discussed at length or even fought about in court. Our lawyers have long-standing experience as defence counsel in many different constellations in subsidy fraud proceedings.

Ultimately, this has become a field for experts. While, after the political changes in the former GDR, the proceedings comprised, in particular, criminal proceedings on grounds of so-called investment allowances and other funding subsidies, these proceedings moved, in particular, into the field of criminal proceedings regarding employers on grounds of unfounded applications for short-time work after the so-called financial market crisis in 2008/2009. In many cases, criminal proceedings were often only initiated after years and taken to several court instances because of the long periods of limitation. Therefore, proceedings before appellate courts are part of our usual tool kit, even though we always try to move criminal proceedings into a direction which is acceptable for the client by talking to the authorities concerned.

Current information and tips regarding subsidy fraud

At present, it can be assumed that numerous new proceedings will be initiated on grounds of unfounded applications for the so-called Corona relief subsidies. Below, we provide some information on this.

1. Subsidy fraud applies even in cases of recklessness

2. Criminal liability only in cases involving subsidies!

3. Criminal liability only in cases of deception regarding facts relevant for subsidies

4. Withdrawal from criminal liability through active contrition

5. Cooperation among authorities

6. Further consequences of subsidy fraud

Defence in criminal tax proceedings on grounds of subsidy fraud

Once investigation proceedings have been initiated on grounds of subsidy fraud, a defence strategy should be prepared. There are particularities in these criminal proceedings which are connected with the involvement of various authorities and the lower threshold for criminal liability (with recklessness sufficing). Moreover, even if subsidies are reclaimed, the risk that criminal proceedings might be initiated must also be considered. The aim must be achieving an optimum result in both cases.


  • Representation towards the investigation authorities, such as the tax investigation department and the department of public prosecution
  • Exchange with your current tax adviser
  • Immediate assistance during a house search
  • Effective criminal defence in investigation proceedings and in criminal proceedings after an indictment


  • Long-standing team of experienced defence lawyers, especially, in commercial criminal cases
  • Multiple qualifications as lawyers, tax advisers, tax law specialists and certified criminal tax law advisers (DAA)
  • Far-reaching experience in criminal proceedings and in dealing with the investigation authorities (police, customs and department of public prosecution) and the criminal courts
  • Always up-to-date regarding the development of new laws and the decisions of the German Federal Supreme Court as a result of professional training and further training
  • Psychological know-how and tact in handling difficult situations with investigation authorities (police, customs and department of public prosecution) and the criminal courts.
  • Long-standing lecturing experience, e.g. as a conference chairman of specialist events on criminal tax law as well as publications in relevant technical journals and comments
LHP: Attorneys at Law, Tax Law Specialists, Tax Advisers PartmbB


An der Pauluskirche 3-5, 50677 Cologne,
Telephone: +49 221 39 09 770


Tödistrasse 53, CH-8027 Zurich,
Telephone: +41 44 212 3535

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