Beautiful Virgin Islands


Wirecard: Germany's biggest fraud trial to start underground

Wirecard: Germany's biggest fraud trial to start underground

The once publicly listed company worth billions had Angela Merkel lobbying on its behalf.
Germany's biggest fraud case gets underway as the former executives of payments company Wirecard stand trial after a scandal that rocked the German establishment.

In a new, bomb-proof court built 5m (16ft) underground to try terror suspects, CEO Markus Braun will appear.

He, and two other Wirecard managers, Oliver Bellenhaus and Stephan von Erffa, stand charged with fraud and market manipulation offences for their alleged role in the collapse of the payments company.

They could be jailed for up to 15 years if convicted.

Wirecard was at one point valued at $28bn (£22.9bn). It rose to prominence from being a porn and gambling payments processor to a respected tech company, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and a constituent company of the Dax index of German blue chip companies.

The prosecution has argued that Wirecard management invented company revenue to trick investors and creditors.

Mr Braun has been in custody since 2020 and the company has admitted €1.9bn (£1.63bn) went missing, but he denied embezzling money and accused others of running a shadow operation without his knowledge.

He was arrested for a second time in July 2020 on suspicion of being part of an organised criminal enterprise that obtained more than €3bn from creditors in a scheme based on faked accounts.

The Wirecard fall was meteoric. It became the only Dax member to file for bankruptcy, owing creditors nearly $4bn (£3.28bn). The downfall shook German politics and regulators and hit the country's business reputation.
Advertisement

The company counted former German chancellor Angela Merkel as a supporter as she lobbied for Wirecard in China as it pursued an acquisition. For a short time she considered bailing the firm out.

Current chancellor Olaf Scholz also came in for criticism as he served as finance minister under Ms Merkel.

Criticism had been levelled at Mr Scholz for a lack of oversight of the company during his finance tenure. In the wake of the scandal he bolstered the powers of the German financial regulator, BaFin, and brought in new leadership of the watchdog. BaFin's head as well as the boss of Germany's accounting watchdog had stepped down, following the company's demise.

Wirecard had successfully lobbied German authorities not to investigate the company and instead look into the investors and journalists making claims of wrongdoing.

Both Ms Merkel and Mr Scholz have said they are not to blame for the scandal.

Former executive Mr Bellenhaus became a key witness after turning himself in to the German authorities in 2020 while Mr von Erffa expressed regret about the Wirecard events, but denied orchestrating them. His lawyer said to Reuters that Mr von Erffa did not want to comment on the charges.

Not on trial is Wirecard's former chief operating officer Jan Marsalek, a key suspect and currently an international fugitive with unknown whereabouts.

A verdict is not expected before 2024 at the earliest and there are hundreds of court dates scheduled until the end of 2023 to hear the case.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
0:00
0:00
Close
Macron Halts New Caledonia Voting Reform After Riots
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Rishi Sunak Shelves Rwanda and Smoking Policies Ahead of Election
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
US Refuses World Court Jurisdiction
BVI Freedom Song
China Conducts Surprise Military Drills Around Taiwan
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Grim Polls Predict Major Loss for PM Rishi Sunak
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Rishi Sunak's Campaign for UK Election: Key Issues Highlighted
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Princess of Wales's Taskforce Calls for Business Investment in Early Childhood
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Campaign Groups Condemn UK Report on Protests
Hello Dolly
Former Royal Marine Charged with Espionage Found Dead
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Australian PM Calls for Julian Assange's Freedom
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
Yes He Can
UK's Infected Blood Scandal: Conclusion Nears After Seven Years
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Julian Assange Granted Right to Challenge US Extradition
Unforgettable
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
The Lord's Prayer
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Siyahamba
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
Ramblin' Rose
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
New Dutch Government Drives Wedge Through EU Liberals
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
Iranian President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Goes Down
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
Freemasons and ‘Global War Party’ Accused of Conspiring Against Georgia
Common, John Legend - Glory
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Chevron Halts North Sea Drilling Amid Rising Tax Burden
BVI Freedom Song
Jeremy Hunt Accused of Exaggerating Conservatives' Economic Record
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Victoria Atkins Discusses Historical Gender Bias in the NHS
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 50th Anniversary: Calls for Justice
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty’s Wealth Rises to £651 Million
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
New Caledonia Riots Escalate After French Voting Rights Change
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Renters Face Fierce Competition as Listing Times Shrink
Hello Dolly
Surge in Fake Science: 19 journals shut down due to fraudulent papers from 'paper mills'
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Global Birthrates Decline, Raising Economic and Social Concerns
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
Boeing Faces Possible Prosecution Over 737 MAX Settlement Violation
Yes He Can
Prisoner Escapes in France as Two Officers Killed in Van Ambush
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
German Court Rules AfD Can Be Monitored for Extremism
Unforgettable
Jacob Rees-Mogg Criticizes Bank of England’s Inflation Strategy
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Promote Invictus Games in Nigeria
The Lord's Prayer
UK Arms Ban on Israel Would Aid Hamas, Says Cameron
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
US Regulators Probe Credit Card Reward Schemes
Siyahamba
Labour Vows to End Rwanda Deportation Scheme/Scam
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
×