The ex-CEO is accused of commercial gang fraud – and wants to continue to prove his innocence. Now he presents bank statements. The presiding judge is skeptical.
In the Wirecard trial, the ex-CEO Markus Braun, accused of being a suspected fraudster, wants to prove his innocence with the help of bank statements.
The Austrian manager presented the court with a detailed evaluation of transfers, according to which the co-defendant witness Oliver Bellenhaus is said to have siphoned off company funds on a large scale. “From 2013 onwards, massive amounts of money have been granted,” said Braun. The money flowed mainly to “a few embezzlement companies”.
According to Bellenhaus, who previously worked for Wirecard in Dubai, Braun was actively involved in inventing bogus deals worth billions. According to Braun, on the other hand, there was no sham business, only embezzlement by Bellenhaus and accomplices.
Presiding judge skeptical
The presiding judge, Markus Födisch, agreed to a review, but was skeptical. He asked Braun several times why the perpetrators should have taken the detour via bogus bookings when they could have easily diverted money from real transactions: “Why should anyone do that when it’s much easier?” The judge was not satisfied with Braun’s subsequent explanations: “Do you understand what I say, or do you not even understand what I mean?”
Braun also confronted Födisch with testimonies from former employees, according to which there were large gaps between the actual Wirecard business and the ambitious sales and profit targets demanded by Braun for the Dax group, which collapsed in 2020. Braun denied that. “I definitely can’t remember that statement,” said the manager, who has been in custody for almost three years.
Braun, Bellenhaus and the former Wirecard chief accountant are accused of commercial gang fraud. They are said to have falsified Wirecard’s balance sheets since 2015 and cheated lending banks by 3.1 billion euros.