In the billion-dollar scandal at Wirecard, the Munich investigators are doing everything in their power to clear up dubious cash flows in the environment of the globally sought-after ex-CEO Jan Marsalek. That led to the arrest of a Munich businessman on Tuesday. He is to be brought before the judge on Wednesday and will be in custody because of the risk of escape.
The businessman is accused of embezzlement amounting to more than 2.5 million euros. He is said to have withdrawn an amount in this amount from the company IMS Capital, which according to the investigators’ findings had been largely provided with money from Marsalek – before they filed for bankruptcy last week. The lawyer for the arrested person did not want to comment on SZ’s request with reference to the ongoing proceedings.
Ultimately, it is about the suspicion that Marsalek has diverted millions from Wirecard for himself. And the question of where this money could have gone. This question also led the investigators to IMS Capital.
The Berlin company is one of the two main shareholders in the Munich company Getnow, an online supermarket through which customers can purchase groceries. Getnow, founded in 2015, has 130 employees, offers its service in more than 100 cities and is one of the fastest growing grocery delivery services in Germany. But now Getnow has gone bankrupt, as did IMS Capital last week and the Wirecard Group four months ago.
All three bankruptcies have something to do with one another, as Marsalek is said to have been one of Getnow’s main financiers according to the investigators’ findings, apparently through Getnow’s shareholder IMS Capital. Since Marsalek disappeared, it is believed that there has been no more money. According to the provisional insolvency administrator, Getnow had received “investor money in the double-digit millions” for its expansion – that was mainly money from Marsalek.
According to the preliminary insolvency administrator, a new “round of financing”, in other words the search for investors, was planned, but it failed. Hence the bankruptcy. Nevertheless, attempts should continue to be made to save the food delivery service.
During their research, the investigators repeatedly come across Marsalek and his surroundings
Possibly the now arrested businessman wanted to prevent that he ran out of money after Marsalek’s escape. That could have been a motive for taking more than 2.5 million euros from IMS, as suspected by the investigators. Other Marsalek confidants are said to have already filed a lawsuit against the businessman. It looks like a violent argument broke out in his environment after Marsalek’s escape.
Four former Wirecard managers, including the long-time CEO Markus Braun, are already in custody. They are accused of fraud in the billions of dollars, falsifying accounts, manipulating the share price and misappropriating corporate assets. Braun denies all allegations.
At Wirecard, more than a billion euros have seeped away into dark channels in recent years. The investigators repeatedly come across Marsalek and his environment during their research. Marsalek confidants have created a network of companies, especially in Asia, which the group provided with large loans. The investigators want to find out whether Marsalek has diverted millions in this way and whether the long-standing Wirecard board of directors could have financed private investments. There is also a suspicion of money laundering.