Economy

Wirecard scandal: These managers knew what was going on and were silent

Peter Kneffel, picture alliance via Getty Images

There is new, explosive information in the Wirecard fraud affair. The “Handelsblatt” has internal transaction overviews from Wirecard, which are intended to prove that around 250 employees were aware of the alleged fraud of the payment service provider. So far, only a small group of people around the meanwhile imprisoned ex-boss Markus Braun and the Asia boss Jan Marsalek, who was wanted by an international arrest warrant, seemed to have known about the illegal activities. According to “Handelsblatt”, the new documents show that numerous executives also knew the real numbers.

The transaction overviews were sent monthly in PDF format to around 250 employees, it is said. The “Payment & Risk Monthly Reportings” would have given the recipients information about the company’s actual figures. The managers could have compared these with the publicly presented figures, according to the “Handelsblatt.”

The transaction overviews in detail

According to the documents, Wirecard generated around 72 percent of its total volume of 8 in February 2020 with its ten largest customers – from airlines such as Wizz Air, KLM and Oman Aviation to the shopping TV channel QVC, online casinos, porn sites and the Austrian state railway ÖBB .6 billion euros. In total, Wirecard processed a transaction volume of 61.3 billion euros in 2019.

The figures that the company presented to the public painted a very different picture: in a quarterly report from January to September 2019 alone, a sum of 124.2 billion euros was mentioned. According to the “Handelsblatt”, more than half of the publicly communicated transaction volume was falsified.

“Actually, everyone should have noticed when looking at the monthly transaction overviews that something is wrong,” the business newspaper quotes an insider. One reason why no one noticed that was the meanwhile volatile Jan Marsalek.

The wanted poster for Jan Marsalek.

The wanted poster for Jan Marsalek.

Federal Criminal Police Office

A former top manager told the “Handelsblatt” that the Marsaleks division had always been a kind of opaque “black box” that was responsible for a large part of the total volume communicated, but that was not further examined internally. That was a serious mistake.

But there are also voices pleading for the innocence of those who know it, writes the business magazine. The Asia area under Marsalek would have always reported its own figures, which were not included in the above transaction reports.

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