Third suspect in Wirecard fraud case testifies for the first time


A third suspect in the massive fraud trial in Germany involving the discredited payment group Wirecard will testify for the first time.

The suspect, known only as E, the group’s former chief accountant, will break his one-and-a-half-year silence on July 17, Munich District Court President Markus Födisch said on Wednesday.

The former DAX-listed group collapsed in mid-2020 after €1.9 billion ($2 billion) in alleged revenue could not be found. The trial began in December 2022.

E confirmed his personal details at the start of the trial, but made no further statements.

The regional court in Munich, headed by Födisch, has promised E a prison sentence of six to eight years in exchange for a confession.

It is not yet clear whether the former chief accountant will admit or deny the allegations in his statement.

“Our client has decided to contribute to the clarification of the facts,” defense attorney Sabine Stetter said. E will describe “his view of the cases” and is prepared to answer questions from the court and the other parties involved in the proceedings, she added.

At the heart of the criminal charges is the accusation that E, former CEO Markus Braun and former manager Oliver Bellenhaus fabricated alleged transactions and fake sales worth billions of euros to keep the company afloat and entice lenders to make more loans.

In its indictment, the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office estimates the financial damage at around 3 billion euros.

So far, the trial has been a matter of testimony against testimony: Braun, who has been in prison for four years as the prime suspect, denies all charges. Bellenhaus, on the other hand, has admitted most of the charges.

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