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Credit Suisse to pay $206 million to settle German tax

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By Martin de Sa'Pinto

ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse <CSGN.VX> said on Monday it has agreed to pay 150 million euros ($206 million) in Germany to end an investigation into employees of the Swiss bank by the public prosecutor's office in Duesseldorf concerning tax evasion.

"A complex and prolonged legal dispute has been avoided, with an agreed solution that provides legal certainty," the bank said in a statement.

Later this week the German and Swiss governments are looking to sign a deal on taxing money stashed by German citizens in secret Swiss accounts, a German government source told Reuters on Sunday.

The terms of the deal were struck in August when Switzerland and Germany agreed to tax money held by German citizens in secret accounts, estimated at up to 150 billion Swiss francs ($171 billion).

The agreement could set a model for agreements between Switzerland and other countries, although they still require the approval of the Swiss and German parliaments.

Credit Suisse has come under increasing scrutiny from prosecutors in Germany this year.

In August Duesseldorf's chief prosecutor Ralf Moellmann said his office intended to intensify its probe of Credit Suisse, after the bank's offices in Germany were raided in February as part of a broader clampdown on tax evasion.

Credit Suisse's payment is higher than that of smaller rival Julius Baer <BAER.VX>, which earlier this year agreed to pay German tax authorities 50 million euros to close a tax probe and avoid potential legal action against the bank and its employees in the country.

Credit Suisse is also the target of a formal U.S. tax probe, and a number of current employees and former employees have been charged with helping U.S. citizens dodge U.S. taxes.

The United States is also pushing for a deal similar to the one struck on UBS <UBSN.VX> client data two years ago, seeking details of all U.S. clients with accounts worth at least $50,000 between 2002 and 2010 at banks including Credit Suisse, Julius Baer <BAER.VX> and Wegelin as well as some regional banks.

($1=0.725 euros)

($1 = 0.875 Swiss Francs)

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)