René Benko will not appear for the hearing before the U-Committee

The U-Committee's second week of questioning on Covid-19 financing firm COFAG began on Wednesday with the summons of two tax officials to present their views on audit cases. Cigna Group To describe the subject.
This is about moving the company's headquarters from Vienna to Innsbruck in 2018. According to the opposition, it was organized at the highest level to benefit the company. Rene Benko To implement tax benefits.

A top official under investigation for abuse of office spoke of “unfounded bias” in his opening statement. “The real corruption is that nothing has been converted into corruption here,” complained the official. “I feel like I'm on trial with Kafka.”

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“No effect”

When Cigna moved, the tax office had “no influence whatsoever. We do not communicate or inform, we are a technical clearance office.” Schlosshotel Igls GmbH's work was also “absolutely legal”. Benko was sometimes treated badly, the respondent asserted.

As a large company auditor in Innsbruck, an officer entrusted with audit cases in the Cigna Group area had already been invited. He said he had audited ten Cigna Group companies till 2018. In his view, it is worth noting that Cigna Luxury Collection does not pay rent for “Chalet N”, which is owned by another Cigna company.

It is also unusual that claims for arrears of rent are not subject to interest – which is not customary at arm's length, which is why he fixed the appropriate interest. Transactions within a group require the same arm's length as those with external third parties.

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“Not for fun”

“I cannot order the company to collect the debts,” insisted the auditor. It is not a matter of “entertainment”, meaning that the rental of the chalet is not designed to generate profit in the long term, “it is not agreed in the rental agreement that the rent is not due”. Also: “If someone waives the rent, I can only determine that during the exam.”

Relocation of Cigna 2018 was also a topic in the survey. However, this did not make any difference to the tax audit, the respondent answered the relevant question. In general, “I did not experience any interference during my exams”.

Benko and Financial Market Supervisory Commission Director Edward Mueller are expected tomorrow on Thursday. Courier received word late in the afternoon that Benco had canceled.


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