Fraud complex: first indictment in the Wirecard scandal

Status: 01/13/2022 12:35 p.m.

The Munich public prosecutor’s office has brought an initial charge in the scandal surrounding the former payment service provider Wirecard. A former business partner of ex-sales boss Marsalek is accused.

One and a half years after the bankruptcy of the payment service provider Wirecard, the first indictment has been brought. The public prosecutor’s office in Munich accuses a former business partner of Jan Marsalek, who was in hiding. The prosecution accuses the man of willful money laundering, particularly serious fraud and violation of accounting obligations. Now the Munich district court must first decide whether to admit the indictment.

The manager is said to have embezzled 22 million euros from the group’s coffers together with Jan Marsalek. From this money he is said to have initially diverted eight million euros for himself. Among other things, he used this to finance the construction of his own house, as well as investments in his own holding company.

Money laundering allegation

In addition, the public prosecutor’s office accuses the defendant of having transferred the misappropriated Wirecard funds “through investments in German start-up companies into the legal economic cycle”. In doing so, he concealed the illegal origin of the money and “washed it clean”. This is said to have happened through the company IMS Capital, for which the manager worked. According to the conviction of the public prosecutor’s office, Marsalek, the former Libyan secret service chief O. and another business partner acted with him.

The defendant made investments for wealthy private individuals, mostly in start-ups, through the now insolvent company IMS Capital. Among other things, IMS Capital was the largest shareholder in the online supermarket Getnow and also participated in a manufacturer of corona rapid tests. Marsalek is said to have been one of the main investors in IMS Capital.

Marsalek’s close friend?

The defendant is said to have had more than just business ties with Marsalek. According to information from the “Handelsblatt”, the men also met privately, internally at Wirecard they were considered “close friends”. The manager is said to have invested money for Marsalek for years and rented a villa for Germany’s most wanted man in Munich’s Prinzregentenstrasse, which served as a retreat.

Marsalek has been in hiding since the summer of 2020 and is believed to be in Russia. Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun is already in custody, but no charges have been brought against him so far. The investigators accuse Braun and other former Wirecard top managers of fraud in a gang. They are said to have invented non-existent sales in the billions in order to systematically steal loans and investor money. The fraud damage could then have reached a record amount of three billion euros.

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