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Most recently, Interpol issued a Red Notice, and law enforcement in Singapore issued an arrest warrant for the former executive of Wirecard Asia, Edo Kurniawan (report here). In Germany, former CEO Markus Braun is awaiting trial in prison and the COO Jan Marsalek is on the run. The fact is that large areas of the Wirecard scheme remain in the dark. FinTelegram is joining its whistleblowers in the search for the missing money and the Wirecard legacy. Here’s another update showing the timeline from Inatec to Payabl.
Let’s start at the end of the story. As shown in the chart above, key people who co-developed, managed, or orchestrated the Wirecard scheme in its first ten years (and most probably afterwards) and made it big are now (still) united in the Payabl Group, a payment processor regulated in Cyprus.
These key individuals are Ruediger Trautmann, Dietmar Knoechelmann, his wife Ayelet Fruchtlander Knoechelmann, and Frank Schoonbaert.
A new payment processor network is currently being evolving around Payabl. Most recently, Payabl made a €3 million investment in the BDSwiss offshoot Klarpay, which operates in the market as a Swiss-regulated FinTech. To clarify, we have no indication that BDSwiss is involved in Klarpay. However, their key people have a BDSwiss past. We don’t see anything bad in this expanding payabl network either. It’s just good to know how the European FinTech scene is interconnected.
Boosted By Gambling Business And Fishy People
Wirecard‘s operational business in its early years has apparently been boosted by facilitating gambling in North America. Fraser Perring describes in his now famous 2016 Zatarra Report that the initial growth impetus of the later Wirecard empire was fueled by companies or schemes like Krores or Wire Card UK Limited (not related to Wirecard) These were payment processors for gambling banned in the U.S. A 2015 JCAP report also names the Gateway Payment Solutions Holdings group as a payment processor that disappeared into the Wirecard scheme sometime in 2007 that was also allegedly involved in illegal gambling and controlled by Dietmar Knoechelmann and his partner John Carbone.
The JCAP report calls those acting around Gateway Payments “fishy” and casts doubt on the seriousness of the companies and transactions.
Gateway had a heritage in online gaming, and so did its promoters. Gateway’s sister company BingoWorkz was a Cyprus-based online gaming company. The vendors of Gateway were principally John Carbone and Dietmar Knoechelmann. Knoechelmann subsequently served as a director of the Wirecard subsidiaries from acquisition until March 25, 2009.JCAP Report published 2015 (link)
Finally, there is the Inatec Group with various companies founded by Ayelet Fruchtlander Knoechelmann, her husband and Ruediger Trautmann, which was a transaction partner closely associated with Wirecard. The German Inatec was merged into Payabl in 2022.
The Irish Side
Very interesting in this (attempted) breakup of the collapsed Wirecard scheme is Ireland. Some companies like Cymix Prepaid Services, Krores Ireland, or Gateway Payment Solutions had their headquarters in Dublin. Cymix Prepaid Services had a sort of cooperation with Dubai-based Al Alam. According to the Financial Times findings, Al Alam processed $46 million per month on behalf of Wirecard for Cymix Prepaid in 2017. The odd thing is that Cymix Prepaid had already been dissolved in 2012. Associated with Cymix is Frank Schoonbaert who remains one of the directors of Payabl to this day.
After studying the vast amount of available information by our team and our whistleblowers, it seems clear that the key people in Payabl were significantly involved in the Wirecard scheme and also controlled it via their satellite companies.
So far we have only summarized more or less well known facts around the collapsed Wirecard scheme. The chart above shows only a small part of this scheme. Crucial questions remain unanswered:
- Did the disappeared €1.9 billion ever really exist, were they just fake, or maybe a bit of both? Sometimes in and sometimes out?
- What role did the entities we call satellite companies such as Inatec, PowerCash21 (now Payabl) or the Krosos scheme actually play in the Wirecard cash flow?
- What role did the people in charge at Payabl today actually play in the Wirecard scheme?
- Is there a connection between Wirecard and today’s Payabl that exists beyond personnel ties?
We will try to provide the answers to this question in the next posts.
If you have any information about the Wirecard scheme and the schemes, companies and individuals involved, we would appreciate it if you could share it with us via our whistleblower system, Whistle42.