The public prosecutor’s key witness in the Wirecard scandal is obviously much more involved in fraudulent financial transactions than previously known. According to information from manager magazin, Oliver B., the former Dubai governor of Wirecards, has diverted millions from the Dax group, which has since collapsed, reaped a kind of bonus for his own work and transferred it to an account with a Liechtenstein foundation. According to information from manager magazin, the Levantine Foundation owned by Oliver B. has 6.1 million euros. Almost five million euros come from the company’s Asian business. SPIEGEL also reported on the foundation and the 6.1 million euros last November.
According to insiders, he admitted the secret cash flows in a statement from his defense attorney to the public prosecutor at the end of 2020 after the foundation became known. Apparently he hadn’t mentioned any of this in his interrogations in the summer of last year.
Oliver B. presented himself to the investigative authorities at the beginning of July and offered himself as a key witness, a few weeks after the payment provider’s bankruptcy. What he revealed about the alleged fraud led to an expansion of the investigation and further arrests. The prosecution’s allegations are based on his statements – above all commercial gang fraud, breach of trust and market manipulation. According to this, CEO Markus Braun (52) and other top managers of the group are said to have faked business with partner companies in order to inflate sales and profits. The company should appear more successful and financially strong in order to sneak billions from banks and investors.
The most recent, so far kept secret statements by Oliver B. about the origin of his foundation money, however, make some of it appear in a slightly different light. Accordingly, the third-party business may not have been completely faked, but existed to a previously unknown extent, so that the former Wirecard manager was able to make parts of it disappear. And the manipulation of the balance sheet may have been more likely to cover up misappropriated funds.
Oliver B. joined Wirecard Bank a good 16 years ago, and almost ten years later he went to Dubai for the parent company. The 46-year-old worked there at the interface between Wirecard and the so-called third-party partners. These were companies that processed payments for the Aschheim service provider mainly in Asian countries, where it did not have its own license for such business. The majority of Wirecard’s profits allegedly came from these partner companies.
Wirecards piggy bank
According to manager-magazin information, Oliver B. founded a company in the British Virgin Islands about seven years ago on behalf of Jan Marsalek (41), the Wirecard board member responsible for operational business. He called this “Al Alam Solution” and thus somewhat like a third party with whom Wirecard claims to have actually worked. This was called “Al Alam Solution Provider”.
Oliver B. allegedly described the goal behind this as follows: From the second Al Alam Solution, payments should be made as Al Alam. In this way, the original source of these funds should be camouflaged from accountants. First of all, there should be a credit balance from funds from third parties on the account of the second Al Alam, with which the actual third-party business could have been pumped up as required. Apparently they wanted to be able to better control the size of these yields. Oliver B. is said to have described it as a kind of piggy bank.
In 2015, this reserve was filled with just under 5 million euros within a few weeks. About a year later, Oliver B. and Marsalek, who Interpol has been looking for since last year, agreed to use the money for a different purpose: Oliver B. felt underpaid for his commitment to Wirecard and other co-accused. Marsalek had therefore awarded him the piggy bank as a kind of bonus for his work up to that point and for future commitment. The money later ended up in the accounts of the Liechtenstein Levantine Foundation. The sum there has gradually increased through further payments by the former Wirecard manager and through investment income that he has generated from the foundation’s assets.
According to information from manager magazin, Oliver B. has now admitted: He had let himself be bought. Marsalek also reminded him again and again that there is no more escape once you have become part of the entire system.
Marsalek is said to have developed the original idea of building up reserves on offshore accounts in order to inflate sales back in 2010. At that time, however, smaller amounts ended up there, which also remained untouched, as Oliver B. told the public prosecutor, according to informed circles.
Some details of the shadow system came up briefly in the Wirecard investigation committee at the end of last week. It is unclear how much money was withdrawn from Wirecard transactions in this way and who exactly benefited from it in the end.
Oliver B.’s defense attorney declined to comment with reference to the ongoing proceedings.
Jan Marsalek’s defender did not want to comment on manager magazin’s request.
The lawyer of the former Wirecard boss Markus Braun, who rejects all allegations of the public prosecutor, said: Braun has no knowledge of any kind of shadow structures and has not benefited from it. The same applies to embezzlement about such structures. According to the defense attorney, the public prosecutor’s office will have to fully clarify the whereabouts of shareholders ‘and investors’ funds.
The Munich public prosecutor did not want to comment on the Bellenhaus statement with reference to the ongoing investigation.