Summary of The CumEx Files – A Cross-Border Investigation

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The CumEx Files – A Cross-Border Investigation summary
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The protagonists alone make for a fascinating crime story: a repentant informant with a remodeled face and new identity to protect him from his former peers; two undercover journalists pretending to be billionaires; and a ruthless tax lawyer, who claims that anything that’s legal is also morally legitimate. This would make for some fine reading – if only the story were fictional. For this article, published by the investigative newsroom Correctiv, 38 reporters delved into the biggest financial scandal Europe has ever seen. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • How cum-ex deals work and
  • Why they continue to thrive.

About the Author

Correctiv is a nonprofit investigative newsroom based in Germany. A network of 38 reporters from 12 countries did the research for this article.



In a London luxury hotel on a hot August day in 2018, the trader Amal Ram (a pseudonym) meets the German billionaire brothers Otto and Felix to offer them an irresistible investment deal: A fraudulent cum-ex share deal. German law enforcement uncovered such deals years before, which have since been subject to investigations. Unbeknownst to Ram, the meeting is a trap: Otto and Felix are undercover reporters who want to prove that the tax fraud scheme is continuing largely unimpeded – not only in Germany, but across Europe. Ram assures them that the deal is still “market neutral.” That’s code for saying that the investment has no downside and that market movements don’t affect the deal. To protect his customer’s reputation, the trader explains that – for now – he stays clear of the red hot German market. Currently, his deals concentrate on rich fishing grounds mainly in Italy, France and Spain.

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