In the Wirecard scandal, ex-CEO Braun and accomplices are said to have acted like a criminal gang. If so, then the scammers may also be cheating on each other. This is indicated by the first indictment in the complex of proceedings.

One and a half years after the collapse of the Wirecard group, the Munich public prosecutor's office first charge in what is believed to be the biggest fraud scandal of the post-war period.

Ex-Wirecard CEO and others sued for 140 million euros

Ex-Wirecard boss Markus Braun and other ex-managers were sued for damages of 140 million euros at the Munich I district court, according to information from the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

A year and a half after the collapse of the Wirecard Group, the Munich public prosecutor's office brought the first charges in what is believed to be the largest fraud scandal of the post-war period. It is not a Wirecard manager who is accused, but a minor figure: A former business partner of Jan Marsalek, who went into hiding, is said to have embezzled 22 million euros from the group coffers together with him, as the Munich public prosecutor announced. The accused is said to have diverted eight million euros from this embezzled money for himself. The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reported first.

The public prosecutor accuses the man of 26 particularly serious cases of money laundering combined with fraud in a particularly serious case and false accounting. According to investigations, Marsalek, the accused and other accomplices wanted to invest the 22 million Wirecard embezzled into German start-ups via an investment company and thus conceal the criminal origin of the funds – hence the money laundering allegation.

Contrary to what was agreed with Marsalek and Co., the accused is said to have spent eight million euros on the purchase and conversion of a house in Munich and his own offices in Switzerland. Now the Munich district court must first decide whether to admit the charges. Marsalek has been in hiding since summer 2020 and is suspected to be in Russia.

Other ex-managers sued

According to information from the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Wirecard insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé has sued ex-Wirecard boss Markus Braun and other ex-managers at the Munich I Regional Court for damages of 140 million euros. It is about allegedly carelessly granted large loans, reported the SZ in its Friday edition. Markus Braun has been in custody for almost a year and a half, and charges of allegedly serious economic crimes are imminent.

The claim for damages is also directed against Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek, who went into hiding. Ex-supervisory board member Stefan Klestil and another former member of the supervisory body are also being sued. All of them are said to have been accused of being involved in, or not preventing, frivolous lending.

Braun has rejected all allegations since the Dax group went bankrupt in mid-2020. A spokesman for Braun told SZ that Braun learned of a lawsuit against him and others in early 2022. Braun rejects the claims made “in their entirety” and will defend himself against the lawsuit. “The complaint alleges facts that are actually not true and are refuted by facts.”

Uncertain whereabouts of the money

The lawsuit for damages and the arrest decisions are about large loans that the Wirecard Group had granted to the Singapore-based company Ocap. According to the findings of insolvency administrator Jaffé, Ocap and an Ocap subsidiary in Luxembourg owe the Wirecard Group a total of 230 million euros. According to SZ, the whereabouts of most of the money is apparently unclear.

The company Ocap, managed by the former Wirecard manager Carlos H., was once considered a strategic partner of Wirecard and was supposed to use the borrowed money to pre-finance merchant transactions. Income from these transactions should then benefit the financial service provider Wirecard. According to SZ, the Wirecard board of directors had been granting more and more loans to Ocap for years with the approval of members of the supervisory board. When Michael Jaffé was appointed as insolvency administrator after the Wirecard bankruptcy, there was no more money at Ocap. The Singapore-based company is now also bankrupt.

Control authorities deceived

A spokesman for ex-supervisory board member Klestil told SZ that Wirecard had managed to deceive all control bodies, including the supervisory board. Klestil is just as affected by the suspected fraud at Wirecard as many others. He has the greatest interest in all investors receiving clarity and full information about the events at Wirecard that have become known as quickly as possible.

According to SZ, the lawsuit is ultimately aimed at those insurance companies with which Wirecard had manager liability policies. However, these insurances only come into effect if the management and supervisory boards concerned cannot be accused of any intentional or knowing breach of duty or even participation in criminal offenses.

The bankruptcy of the financial service provider Wirecard is one of the biggest economic scandals in Germany in recent decades. The Wirecard boardroom is said to have booked bogus transactions worth billions over the years to keep the company afloat and to cheat loans. A total of 1.9 billion euros, which are said to be in trust accounts in Asia, cannot be found. Braun has been in custody since July 2020.

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Ex-Wirecard CEO and others sued for 140 million euros

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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