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Home Gadgets Wirecard boss's lawyer calls allegations 'absurd' in fraud trial

Wirecard boss’s lawyer calls allegations ‘absurd’ in fraud trial

The previous Wirecard CEO Markus Braun started his defence in Germany’s largest post-war fraud trial on Monday, as his lawyer dismissed allegations of wrongdoing on the defunct funds firm as “absurd” and prejudiced.

Braun, 53, and two different managers are on trial on costs together with market manipulation and fraud and might be sentenced for as much as 15 years in jail if convicted.

Braun has all the time denied wrongdoing.

Wirecard’s collapse two years in the past despatched shockwaves by means of the German political institution and tarnished the nation’s enterprise status.
Initially of the trial final week, prosecutors accused Braun and others of being a part of a gang that invented huge sums of phantom income by means of bogus transactions with accomplice corporations to mislead collectors and buyers.

They mentioned the deception allowed Wirecard’s managers to siphon cash out of the corporate for years.

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Braun’s lawyer Alfred Dierlamm’s defence sought to puncture these claims in courtroom on Monday. He informed the courtroom that Braun had by no means bought his Wirecard shares and had truly taken the initiative to name in exterior auditors from KPMG to analyze Wirecard’s funds.

“It is a completely absurd and misguided notion {that a} gang chief would act like this,” Dierlamm informed the courtroom.

He mentioned Braun’s case had been prejudiced since Wirecard’s collapse and his shopper’s arrest in 2020, alleging that the prosecutors had been biased and below stress to discover a perpetrator after one other of Wirecard’s managers, Jan Marsalek, fled overseas.

Braun’s lawyer informed the courtroom that the prosecution’s key witness was the primary perpetrator.

Dierlamm requested for the trial to be suspended to provide the defence extra time overview paperwork, given the quantity of “information that had been dumped on our desk”.

Based in 1999 and based mostly within the Munich suburb of Aschheim, Wirecard’s spectacular rise remodeled it from a fee processor for pornography and on-line playing to a showpiece for a brand new kind of German tech firm that might compete with the established titans of Europe’s largest financial system.

Its demise shook the German institution, placing below scrutiny politicians who backed the corporate and regulators who took years to analyze it.

After batting away suspicions of wrongdoing from buyers and journalists and efficiently lobbying the German authorities to analyze those that had been scrutinising its funds, Wirecard was pressured to confess in June 2020 that 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion) had been lacking from its steadiness sheet.

Wirecard grew to become the first-ever member of Germany’s DAX blue chip inventory index to file for insolvency, owing practically $4 billion.

In courtroom, Dierlamm questioned the credibility of statements by Braun’s co-defendant Oliver Bellenhaus, the previous head of Wirecard’s subsidiary in Dubai, who grew to become a witness after turning himself in to German authorities in 2020.

Bellenhaus’s lawyer final week requested for a lowered sentence for his shopper in recognition of his co-operation.

“Bellenhaus shouldn’t be a key witness,” mentioned Dierlamm. “Bellenhaus is the primary perpetrator of a gang” whose sole intention was to divert and embezzle funds from the corporate.

One other former government, Stephan von Erffa, can be on trial. He has publicly expressed remorse concerning the occasions at Wirecard however denied orchestrating them. His lawyer has mentioned von Erffa didn’t need to touch upon the fees.

Marsalek, Wirecard’s former chief working officer, is a world fugitive on Europe’s most wished checklist whose whereabouts are unknown.

A verdict shouldn’t be anticipated earlier than 2024 on the earliest.

(Writing by Matthias Williams. Modifying by Jane Merriman)

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