Ex-Wirecard CEO Braun to be tried for fraud in Germany

A German court on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the trial of Markus Braun, the former CEO of Wirecard, accused of fraud in the accounting scandal that led to the company’s spectacular collapse in 2020.

Braun and two other senior Wirecard managers will go on trial for “commercial gang fraud”, the superior regional court in Munich said in a statement, though a date for proceedings has not yet been set.

Once the standard-bearer for the German tech industry, Wirecard collapsed in June 2020 after admitting that 1.9 billion euros ($1.9 billion) missing from its balance sheets likely didn’t exist.

The scandal was “unparalleled” in Germany’s history, according to then finance minister Olaf Scholz, who is now chancellor.

Braun and the other two managers, accounting boss Stephan von Erffa and Oliver Bellenhaus, the former head of a Wirecard’s Dubai subsidiary, were charged with fraud by prosecutors in March.

The trio had worked “in an industrial fashion” to commit the fraud, prosecutors said.

Wirecard’s chief operating officer Jan Marsalek is wanted by German prosecutors and remains at large.

The former executive, who has been on the run since the collapse, was reported earlier this year to be hiding out in Moscow.

Agence France-Presse