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German prosecutors file first fees in Wirecard fraud

A former enterprise affiliate of ex-Wirecard govt Jan Marsalek has turn out to be the primary individual to be charged by German prosecutors over the multibillion-euro fraud on the as soon as high-flying funds firm.

Munich prosecutors stated in a press release on Thursday that they’d on December 21 charged a person with 26 counts of cash laundering. It’s alleged he participated in a scheme with Marsalek to launder €22m of embezzled Wirecard funds.

Marsalek, who’s accused of orchestrating the years-long fraud and the theft of as a lot as a billion euros, has not been seen for the reason that fintech crashed into insolvency after admitting that €1.9bn of money and half of its revenues didn’t exist.

The costs in opposition to a minor participant in Marsalek’s orbit spotlight the problem of prosecuting perpetrators of one in every of Germany’s largest accounting frauds, in a case during which quite a few Wirecard’s former executives and auditors stay below investigation.

Prosecutors have stated they intention to convey fees in opposition to Markus Braun, the previous chief govt and largest shareholder within the failed group, by the tip of March. Braun, in custody for 18 months, has stated he was a sufferer of Marsalek, his former protégé, and intends to show his innocence.

A lawyer for Marsalek declined to remark.

The person charged final month is accused of “deliberate cash laundering together with aggravated fraud and deliberate violation of accounting duties”, prosecutors stated. He has not been named, has beforehand denied wrongdoing, and his lawyer declined to remark.

He’s alleged to have participated in a scheme with Marsalek and a person prosecutors named as Rami El O, who can also be below investigation, to embezzle and launder property of Wirecard value no less than €22m by investing in German start-ups.

The charged man can also be accused by prosecutors of misappropriating no less than €8m of embezzled funds from Rami El O and Marsalek.

“The defendant is accused of shopping for and renovating non-public actual property and to have based and funded his family workplaces in Switzerland,” prosecutors stated.

The indictment follows charges in Singapore filed final yr in opposition to two males accused of falsifying paperwork which purported to point out a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of euros held in financial institution accounts on behalf of Wirecard.

The paperwork have been a part of a scheme during which Wirecard claimed half of its revenues got here from preparations with obscure cost processing corporations primarily based in Singapore, Dubai and the Philippines.

This story has been up to date to right the date of the indictment.

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