No surprise! German prosecutors charge former Wirecard Markus Braun and other managers

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It was expected. Investigations have been ongoing for almost two years. The Munich public prosecutor’s office has filed charges against former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun. On 480 pages, the investigators accuse him of professional gang fraud, embezzlement of group assets, falsification of the balance sheet, and manipulation of the Wirecard share price. Oliver Bellenhaus, Wirecard‘s former governor in Dubai, and Stephan von Erffa, the former chief accountant and deputy CFO, have also been charged.

Wirecard, then a Dax-listed company, had admitted in June 2020, that €1.9 billion in trust assets in Manila could not be proven. One week later, Wirecard had to file for insolvency. Braun was arrested in June 2020 and has since been in pre-trial detention in Augsburg-Gablingen. Investigators see the former CEO as the head of a system that was characterized “by esprit de corps and loyalty oaths to the CEO.Markus Braun denies all the allegations.

The charges are now before the Fourth Criminal Chamber of the Munich I Regional Court, which must decide whether to take the case to trial. This decision is expected in the summer, and the trial could then start in the fall.

No charges have yet been brought against former Wirecard board member Jan Marsalek, who is considered to be the mastermind and string-puller and is on the run. Wirecard‘s collapse is considered one of the biggest scandals in Germany’s financial industry.

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