• contact@thenewscastle.com
  • The Castle, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3RW, United Kingdom

Wirecard Boss Rejects Expenses in German Fraud Trial of the Century

Posted on: February 13, 2023, 06:22h. 

Final up to date on: February 13, 2023, 06:22h.

Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun denied he was a part of a “felony gang” Monday. He was testifying in a Munich courtroom in Germany’s largest post-Conflict fraud trial.

Markus Braun, Wirecard
Markus Braun, above, sporting his trademark black blazer-turtleneck combo in courtroom on Monday. He described Wirecard’s 2020 implosion as an unanticipated “day of ache.” (Angelika Warmuth/dpa)

It was the primary time the 53-year-old Austrian had spoken at size in public since his 2020 arrest on prices that adopted the spectacular collapse of fintech big Wirecard.

Braun is on trial in Munich with two different former Wirecard execs, Oliver Bellenhaus and Stephan von Erffa. Expenses embrace market manipulation and “gang-related fraud.”

Wearing his trademark black blazer over black turtleneck sweater, Braun denied having any data of the counterfeiting and embezzlement that had occurred within the lead as much as its collapse.

$2 Billion Black Gap

As soon as a processor of on-line playing and porn transactions, Wirecard rose to grow to be the main mild of German fintech with a US$28 billion market cap. That was till a $2 billion gap confirmed up on its steadiness sheet.

Braun described that day Monday as “a shock” and a “day of ache,” and spoke of his “profound remorse” for workers and shareholders. Till that second, he stated, he believed he was in control of a totally authentic enterprise.

In June 2020, auditor Ernst & Younger reported that the US$2 billion in money balances talked about in Wirecards’ accounts gave the impression to be lacking. The cash was alleged to be sitting in trustee accounts at two Philippine banks. However the banks denied Wirecard was even a consumer.

Days later, the board admitted the cash “possible by no means existed.”

Prosecutors declare Braun and his co-accused cooked the books and invented bogus income streams to make a loss-making firm seem worthwhile.

Braun’s account is wholly completely different than the image painted by his fellow defendant, Bellenhaus, who additionally occurs to be the federal government’s star witness.

‘Autocratic’ CEO

The previous head of Wirecard’s Dubai subsidiary has admitted his complicity within the accountancy fraud scheme and expressed “deep remorse.”

However testifying in December, Bellenhaus stated he was appearing out of blind loyalty to Braun, whom he described as an “autocratic chief govt” who “gave the marching orders.”

Bellenhaus instructed the courtroom that Braun knew all the things that went on at Wirecard and was obsessive about creating the phantasm that the corporate was extra profitable than it actually was.

Russian Intelligence 

Braun’s authorized group claims Bellenhaus is an unreliable witness and “a principal perpetrator in a gang whose sole purpose was to embezzle cash.” In the meantime, they’re pointing the finger on the firm’s former COO, Jan Marsalek, because the mastermind of the scheme.

Marsalek fled Germany as Wirecard collapsed, touring to Belarus after which onto Moscow. He’s believed to have connections to Russian intelligence businesses and is among the world’s most needed fugitives.

On Monday, Braun stated he had admired Marsalek and had been instrumental in selling him to the board. He claimed he barely knew Bellenhaus, including he had needed to fireside him when he went on trip throughout a KPMG particular audit into the accounts as the corporate teetered on the brink.

The trial is predicted to run into 2024. Every defendant faces as much as 15 years in jail if convicted.