Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office declares public search for COO of Wirecard AG

Maria Nikolova

He is suspected of having inflated the balance sheet total and sales volume of Wirecard AG.

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office has launched a public search for “M”, a member of the management of Wirecard AG, on fraud suspicions.

The Munich public prosecutor’s office says that “M” was Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Wirecard and that he was responsible for the entire operational business including sales and, since at least 2015, has been largely responsible for the Asia business and the TPA business.

He, along with “Dr. B.”, are suspected of having inflated the balance sheet total and sales volume of Wirecard AG by recording simulated income from payment transactions in connection with transactions with so-called third-party acquirers (TPA), in order to make the company financially stronger.

Banks in Germany and Japan as well as other investors, who were misled by the fake annual financial statements, provided funds amounting to around 3.2 billion euros, which are most likely largely lost due to the insolvency of Wirecard AG. There is therefore the suspicion that M. committed a criminal offense in a particularly serious case of breach of trust and commercial fraud.

The search measures so far have been unsuccessful. Based on the current results of the investigation, it is considered very likely that the person sought will be staying abroad.

The Munich District Court issued an arrest warrant against the person wanted on June 22, 2020 at the request of the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office. He is being searched for worldwide.

In the end of July, Dr. jur. Michael Jaffé of the law firm JAFFÉ Rechtsanwälte Insolvenzverwalter, acting as preliminary insolvency administrator or Wirecard AG, said that the insolvency proceedings for the assets of Wirecard AG are progressing well. Liquidity for the continuation of the business has been secured for the time being, the administrator said.

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