A central accused made a confession in the balance sheet scandal at the payment service provider Wirecard. According to his lawyer, former head of Wirecard subsidiary Cardsystems Middle East, Oliver Bellenhaus, was arrested on suspicion of fraud and, according to his lawyer, granted a hearing to the public prosecutor's office in Munich. "My client voluntarily submitted to the proceedings and, unlike others, stands by his individual responsibility," said his lawyer, Nicolas Frühsorger. The Munich public prosecutor's office declined to comment.
Bellenhaus had surrendered earlier last week, the prosecutor said on the day he was arrested. For this he traveled to Munich from the United Arab Emirates. He is currently in custody because of the risk of escape and darkening. "However, we will only speak to the Munich public prosecutor's office about the details," said his lawyer.
In the Emirate of Dubai, Cardsystems Middle East played a central role in Wirecard's Asian business, which is at the center of the alleged balance sheet fraud at the company. In Dubai, investigators believe a focus of the alleged manipulation of business figures. Another important subsidiary of the payment processor is also located in the Irish capital Dublin. At the request of German law enforcement officers, the police there searched Wirecard's business premises a few days ago.
Wirecard could leave the Dax earlier
Wirecard went bankrupt after uncovering a nearly two billion balance sheet hole. The public prosecutor's office is investigating fraud, unfaithfulness, falsification of accounts and market manipulation against several managers, including the former managing director Markus Braun. This had also submitted to the public prosecutor. Board member Jan Marsalek, who was responsible for day-to-day business, has gone into hiding after his immediate release and is being sought by means of an international arrest warrant.
Wirecard is the first company in the leading share index Dax to file for bankruptcy. Nevertheless, the group still belongs to the Dax, in which it rose in September 2018. According to the current rules of the German Stock Exchange, the company would not leave the index until September, which caused a lot of misunderstanding. The stock exchange therefore wants to change its provisions.
After filing for bankruptcy, companies should also be able to leave the company at short notice in the future. By August 7, the stock exchange wants to ask market participants about the rule change and announce the results before August 13. "If the market participants speak in favor of this, we intend to adjust the rules and regulations after the consultation has been completed with a period of one week," said the exchange operator. This could cause Wirecard to lose its list position in the Dax earlier.
Federal Finance Minister - Olaf Scholz probably already knew about Wirecard suspicions in 2019 According to a report, the Finance Minister was informed of the suspicion of market manipulation in February 2019. MPs accuse him of a lack of information policy. © Photo: Michael Sohn / Reuters