Admin l Wednesday, January 11, 2023
BAVARIA – The prosecution’s star witness in Germany’s high-profile Wirecard trial has testified that billions in sales via third-party partners in the Middle East and Asia were completely fabricated to deceive auditors.
Former Wirecard manager Oliver Bellenhaus told a Munich court on Wednesday: “We made that up, of course.”
Bellenhaus was speaking on the sixth full day of the trial about the billion-dollar bookings in escrow accounts in South-East Asia.
Bellenhaus is the prosecution’s star witness in the case, which surrounds the spectacular bankruptcy of what was once seen as one of Germany’s most high-flying companies.
“The auditor needed something, and then the panic arose,” Bellenhaus said. “It was a huge mess, it was all chaos.” Chief executive Markus Braun never asked when Bellenhaus signed – fake – contracts, he said.
Braun, Bellenhaus and the former head of accounting are alleged to have falsified Wirecard’s balance sheets since 2015 and damaged lending banks by €3.1 billion ($3.3 billion), according to the indictment.
Answering prosecutors questions as to whether the third-party business existed, Bellinghaus said: “I answer in no uncertain terms: no.”
The “third-party partners” were companies that allegedly processed credit card payments on behalf of Wirecard in countries where the Bavarian group did not have a corresponding license.
The payment service provider filed for insolvency in 2020 because €1.9 billion ($2.04 billion) allegedly booked in said escrow accounts could not be found.