Open detailed view
(Photo: wired card)
Anyone who has worked for the number one scandal group in Germany is potentially in trouble. Some Wirecard managers, even in sizeable ones, are in custody like former CEO Markus Braun (who dismisses all allegations) or are wanted around the world like former CEO Jan Marsalek. Others are yet to fear or are facing investigations, such as long-time supervisory board chairman Wulf Matthias, whom Munich investigators suspect of aiding and abetting embezzlement under Wirecard loans.
Still others have not had a chance to choose their work with the payment provider, but they do not have to face criminal consequences. The last chairman of Wirecard’s supervisory board, Thomas Eichelmann, is one of them. According to SZ, more than 15 criminal charges against him have been received by the prosecution since the bankruptcy of Wirecard – apparently injured investors have indiscriminately filed complaints against Wirecard officials, including former members of the supervisory board.
From a purely formal point of view, Eichelmann is seen as a suspect alongside other ex-colleagues, which is due to the Bavarian file system: such a process is automatically assigned a file number in the Free State. . From the outside, the abbreviation of the register “Js” reserved for investigations by the prosecution then looks serious. However, investigators have yet to find an initial suspicion against Eichelmann, 56 – they only have him as a witness, and as such he has also recorded his views in the Wirecard proceeding.
Concrete suspicions so far only against a former supervisory board
The former member of the management board of Deutsche Börse joined Wirecard in the summer of 2019 when the supervisory body was enlarged. In January 2020, he succeeded Wulf Matthias as President. During his tenure on the supervisory board, KPMG’s special auditors first discovered serious shortcomings and inconsistencies, and then EY auditors refused to issue a certificate for the 2019 annual accounts, thus sealing the end of Wirecard. The Munich I public prosecutor’s office has registered several dozen suspects since the start of the investigation. Investigators had identified 170 companies, 347 accounts and 453 people who could have been part of this network by early 2021.
According to investigators’ findings, those involved have allegedly falsified income and disguised losses, deceived banks and investors, and embezzled millions of dollars since at least 2015 – a commercial gang fraud of more than $ 3.2 billion. euros is one of the many claims. Provisional detainee Markus Braun dismisses allegations against him as unfounded; himself had been betrayed by the gang around Marsalek.
Wulf Matthias, whose residential and business premises were raided by the public prosecutor in June, is to date the only ex-controller against whom a specific investigation is being carried out. He has to face the allegation of complicity in the embezzlement of funds in connection with large loans to dubious partner companies of Wirecard. Under the chairmanship of Matthias, the Supervisory Board approved some of these loans. Investigators suspect that large sums of money from the Wirecard group have flowed into obscure channels in Asia. Defense lawyer Matthias announced that the accusation was “unreservedly dismissed as incorrect”.