Markus Braun, the ex-CEO of Wirecard, has been re-arrested by authorities amid an ongoing fraud investigation into the scandal-hit payments processor.
According to Sky News, officials in Munich confirmed that Braun had been taken back into on Wednesday (22 July) as part of the criminal inquiry, which is centred on “fraud, breach of trust, misrepresentation and market manipulation”.
They said a court has since granted his detention on suspicion of being part of an “organised criminal enterprise” that funnelled more than €3bn (£2.7bn) from creditors in a scheme based on faked accounts.
Braun was first arrested last month, days before the group collapsed into insolvency, but was later released on €5m (£4.4m) bail. He had previously resigned after Wirecard said that €1.9bn (£1.7bn) had gone missing from its accounts, blaming “possibly fraudulent” transactions for the lost funds.
The Wirecard HQ was later raided by police, and according to Reuters, authorities have since raided four properties in Germany and Austria as part of their widened investigation into the scandal-hit group.
A second Wirecard executive was also arrested earlier this month. Oliver Bellenhaus, who ran Wirecard’s CardSystems Middle East, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud, attempted fraud and aiding and abetting other crimes, prosecutors said.
According to Sky, Anne Leiding told reporters that two former finance and accounting chiefs, identified as only “L. and von E” , were also arrested alongside Braun and Belenhaus.
Prosecutors suspect the four men were among those who inflated Wirecard’s balance sheet by faking income from business with third-party acquirers, allowing it to borrow €3.2bn (£2.9bn) from banks in Germany and Japan, money which is now “likely to have been lost”.