The ex-CEO of German Adyen competitor Wirecard, Markus Braun, was arrested for the second time on Wednesday, while he was just back on bail. In addition to Braun, two other former drivers were also arrested. The reason for the arrests is a further extension of the investigation into accounting fraud at Wirecard.
The three former directors are suspected of having inflated both turnover figures and the balance sheet, in order to appear more attractive to customers and investors. Due to the strong financial figures on paper, the company could wrongly borrow 3.2 billion euros.
"It was clear in reality at the end of 2015 that Wirecard's real business was loss-making," the prosecutor in Munich said Wednesday. The board members are suspected of, among other things, rumblings with accounting, insider trading and breaches of trust.
The possible crimes came to light in May, when audit firm EY was unable to declare 1.9 billion euros on the balance sheet. A day later, Wirecard wrote that it might be a fraud, after which Braun left. The former CEO was arrested a few weeks later on suspicion of fraud and market manipulation, but was released again after paying the bail of 5 million euros.
Another spider in the web, former operational director Jan Marsalek, has been missing since the affair began. An international arrest warrant has now been issued for the Austrian. German Der Spiegel wrote last week that he may be hiding in Belarus or Russia.