The ex-chief of German Adyen competitor Wirecard, Markus Braun, was arrested for the second time on Wednesday after being released on bail. In addition to Braun, two other former drivers were also arrested. The reason for the arrests is a further expansion of the investigation into balance sheet fraud at Wirecard.
The three former board members are suspected of having inflated both the sales figures and the balance sheet in order to be more attractive to customers and investors. Due to the strong financial figures on paper, the company was wrong to borrow 3.2 billion euros.
“Actually, it was already clear at the end of 2015 that Wirecard’s actual business was loss-making,” the Munich prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday. The members of the Board of Management are accused, among other things, of toying with accounting, insider trading and breach of trust.
The possible crimes came to light in May, when the accounting firm EY was unable to declare 1.9 billion euros on its balance sheet. A day later, Wirecard wrote that it could be fraud, and Braun stopped. The former chief executive was arrested a few weeks later on suspicion of fraud and market manipulation, but was released after paying a €5 million bail.
Another spider in the web, former operations manager Jan Marsalek, has been missing since the beginning of the affair. An international arrest warrant has now been issued against the Austrian. The German The Mirror wrote last week that he might be hiding in Belarus or Russia.