The police raided five offices of the troubled payment service Wirecard on Wednesday, the prosecution service for the German city of Munich reports. The police raids are part of an investigation into fraud within the company.
Two of the five offices invaded by Adyen competitor Wirecard are in Austria, the homeland of the now departed top executives Markus Braun and Jan Marsalek. The German court also reports that the fraud investigation into former CEO Braun and ex-operational director Marsalek will be extended to board members Alexander von Knoop and Susanne Steidl.
The investigation into Wirecard was started after audit firm EY was unable to declare 2 billion euros on the balance sheet, as a result of which the annual report could not be published for the umpteenth time. A day later, Wirecard wrote that it might be a fraud, after which Braun left.
The former CEO was arrested early last week on suspicion of fraud and market manipulation, but is released again after paying the bail of 5 million euros. Marsalek has been without a trace since the affair began, and an international arrest warrant has now been issued for the Austrian.
Due to the nonexistent $ 2 billion, creditors have reclaimed billions in loans, putting Wirecard in acute payment difficulties. As a result, the company had to apply for deferment of payment last week, normally a precursor to bankruptcy. In the meantime, some interested parties have reported for taking over Wirecard or parts thereof.