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Wirecard Trial: Millions in Uncashed Checks Discovered in Office Cabinets

Money laundering allegations against Wirecard
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The ongoing Wirecard trial continues to captivate with its unfolding drama and astonishing revelations. In a surprising turn, millions of euros in uncashed checks were discovered in office cabinets at Wirecard‘s headquarters following the company’s collapse. This shocking detail emerged during the testimony of witness Tatyana Teodorovich, who painted a chaotic picture of the financial operations at Wirecard.

Speaking in the underground courtroom at the Munich Regional Court, the 49-year-old Teodorovich, who joined Wirecard in 2006, disclosed her discovery of the checks after the company declared insolvency in June 2020. She mentioned that these checks, issued by business partners, included some amounts in the double-digit millions and were found in the Aschheim office cabinets. “If I remember correctly, these were checks from Dubai,” she noted.

Teodorovich’s testimony added a new layer to the scandal, highlighting the disarray within Wirecard‘s financial management. Her role at Wirecard involved compiling quarterly group financial statements under the supervision of chief accountant Stephan von Erffa, who is on trial alongside former CEO Markus Braun and Oliver Bellenhaus, the company’s former representative in Dubai. The trio faces charges of market manipulation and organized fraud.

Judge Markus Födisch, astonished by the revelation, interrogated Teodorovich on why the checks were not cashed. “How can that be? Why didn’t you cash them? That’s unbelievable,” Födisch exclaimed. Teodorovich speculated that departmental relocations might have caused the oversight but could not provide a definitive explanation.

Wirecared Compliance

Dubai has a pivotal role in the Wirecard saga, with the subsidiary Cardsystems Middle East and the controversial third-party partner Al Alam, which purportedly generated substantial profits for Wirecard. The prosecution argues that these so-called third-party acquirers (TPA) operations were fabricated to falsely enhance the company’s profitability.

Teodorovich maintained that she believed in the authenticity of Wirecard’s business operations and seemed unaware of the alleged fraudulent activities. Her testimony included attempts to clarify financial figures presented by Judge Födisch, showcasing the complexities and rapid growth Wirecard experienced, which she described as initially overwhelming but gradually stabilized with more staff.

The trial, which began in December 2022, has scheduled 189 days of hearings. A verdict is anticipated by the end of this year or early next year. Markus Braun has been detained since summer 2020, while key witness Oliver Bellenhaus was released in February 2024 after three and a half years in custody. Stephan von Erffa was released in summer 2021.

The Wirecard trial remains a landmark case in financial fraud, with each session uncovering more about the inner workings and failures of the once-prominent payment service provider.

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