Werner Mauss, popularly known as the "German James Bond", has been accused of concealing millions in foreign bank accounts according to German tax authorities.
Today, the 76-year-old Mauss is facing charges before the Bochum county court in the state of North Rhine Westphalia.
The tax evasion charges stemmed from the $16.9 million worth of back taxes using implicit bank accounts under several aliases such as Claus Möllner, Dieter Koch, and Richard Nelson.
He will be facing interrogation regarding the substantial amounts of money that was channeled through foreign sources and stored in bank accounts in Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and the Bahamas.
Mauss, in response to the allegations, affirmed that his fortune was obtained honestly during years of dangerous covert operations for the German government.
His lawyers argue that most of the capital stored in the accounts came from Western and Israeli intelligence as a means to fund security operations.
There are also reasons that the accusations will lead to an unfair trial since he is unable to arrange "a proper defense" as he is constrained by confidentiality agreements linked to the decades of undercover work as an agent of Germany.
If found guilty of tax evasion, Werner Mauss can face several years in prison.
The former secret agent, who has worked for Germany's Federal Intelligence Agency up until the year 2000, is considered to be a living legend among Germans.
He once famously said, "I fight death and the devil." and considers James Bond films too boring given his line of work.
On his website, he claims to be a specialist in hostage situations and has been responsible for the freeing hostages held captive by rebels in Colombia, destroyed more than 100 criminal gangs, and stymied an assassination attempt by the mafia against Pope Benedict via poisoning.