Wirecard in the Dock as Germany’s Biggest Fraud Trial Starts

MUNICH (Reuters) —
The headquarters of Wirecard AG in Aschheim near Munich, Germany, September 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo)

Former Wirecard executives go on trial on Thursday, two years after the collapse of the payments company that produced Germany’s biggest postwar fraud scandal and sent shockwaves through the country’s political and financial establishment.

Austrian former chief executive Markus Braun and two other high-ranking managers of the defunct blue-chip company are facing a number of charges, including fraud and market manipulation, and could be jailed for up to 15 years if convicted.

Braun denies wrongdoing and accuses others of running a shadow operation without his knowledge.

The prosecution has said Wirecard’s management invented vast sums of phantom revenue to hoodwink investors and creditors.

A verdict in the Munich court is not expected until 2024 at the earliest.

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