A total of 2.5 billion euros embezzled at Wirecard

Munich, December 19 – In the fraud case surrounding the multi-billion dollar bankruptcy of the financial group Wirecard, the accused director Oliver Bellenhaus has brought charges against the company’s former boss Markus Braun. Bellenhaus told the Munich Regional Court on Monday that this was motivated by the fact that sales figures were to increase immeasurably. Braun was an absolutist CEO and central power. “It was always Dr. Braun’s strategy, and therefore Wirecard’s, to create as many false leads as possible.” Bellenhaus spoke about “gamers, criminals and traitors” at Wirecard. He estimated the amount embezzled at at least €2.5 billion – more than the €1.9 billion that disappeared from trust accounts, which had previously been the subject of the investigation.

In his five-hour statement, which is due to continue the day after the trial on Wednesday, Bellenhaus detailed how, from his perspective, the so-called third-party acquirer (TPA) business at Wirecard was fictitious. in order to simulate sales and deceive listeners. In the four years to the end of 2019, a gross volume of at least €130 billion was reported. Had this TPA business really existed, it would have required an “extensive customer base and very valuable technical infrastructure,” Bellenhaus explained. After the bankruptcy of Wirecard, no business partner in this region contacted the insolvency administrator to claim damages.

The 49-year-old was governor of Wirecard in Dubai and is considered a key witness in the process. Shortly after Wirecard went bankrupt in the summer of 2020, he turned himself in to authorities in Munich and testified at length before the prosecutor. His lawyers had asked for a remission and his release, which the court and the prosecution refused. Bellenhaus has been in custody for almost two and a half years. He admitted to falsifying logs and emails in order to create documents to mislead listeners. The logs were used to correct the information at the end of the year.

The 53-year-old Austrian Braun, on the other hand, sees himself the victim of managers around the former CEO on the run Jan Marsalek, who would have set aside billions. He insists third-party activity in Asia existed after 2015. Judge Markus Födisch has promised Braun to testify in court early next year.


Bellenhaus and Braun swapped places in the Munich courtroom. Bellenhaus, in a gray suit with a tie, sat in front of his former boss, who, as always, wore a black turtleneck sweater and a dark blue suit. Bellenhaus apologized early in his statement. It is not easy to take responsibility. He regrets the consequences for the injured as well as for himself and his family. “Blind loyalty to Braun and Marsalek landed me in jail,” he said. “I am shocked by my own nature.”

Bellenhaus explained how he and his colleagues prepared for an investigation by KPMG auditors. On Marsalek’s instruction, he was supposed to recreate the amount of data needed for the large volume of business. For this, he rented a hotel suite in Dubai to operate a data generator. He was looking for a secluded spot so he wouldn’t bump into investigative reporters or other Wirecard employees. But according to Bellenhaus, the plan didn’t work out as hoped. “In reality, we realized very quickly that the technology we needed would not be available throughout the GCC region,” Bellenhaus said.

Braun’s attorney, Alfred Dierlamm, again asked for the charges to be stayed. Those involved in the process would continue to be “inundated” with documents and data. He spoke of an extrapolation of 19,000 pages of investigative records that the defense had received two days before Bellenhaus was questioned. The investigations, which are taking place in parallel, are a “bottomless pit”. The adjournment of the investigation only served to respect the deadline of the higher regional court for the indictment: “Under no circumstances must the opening of the main proceedings and the detention of Markus Braun be compromised. The judge said he would no longer decide during this year on the stay request.

Accused – In total, 2.5 billion euros were embezzled at Wirecard

Source: Reuters

Symbolic photo: installment purchase image on Pixabay

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