The most spectacular fraud in German economic history is the Wirecard bankruptcy. The main defendant is former CEO, Markus Braun. On the other hand, one of the prominent masterminds of the scandal, Jan Marsalek, is living comfortably in Russia.
Things now look bleak for German investors. Markus Braun‘s assets have been seized, and the insolvency administrator cannot give shareholders hope. Tilp Rechtsanwälte, representing numerous aggrieved parties, is trying to sue the most diverse addressees – some simply for looking the other way. “What surprises us is how this denial system, of covering up, could go so well for so long,” says attorney Marvin Kewe.
While Markus Braun was still publicly dreaming of Wirecard as the largest DAX company, mysterious things were happening in the background. Journalists, such as the Financial Times editors, were spied on, whose e-mail system was also broken into; hedge fund managers were shadowed and followed at every turn. Whether the beginning trial can uncover Braun’s involvement in such machinations remains uncertain. In case of doubt, the still fugitive Jan Marsalek, who always boasted about his secret service connections and revealed himself as an agent, is best suited as an address for dumping blame.
That Marsalek is likely to be one of the main wire-pullers is confirmed by his disappearance one day after the Wirecard collapse. In June 2020, he initially left for Belarus by private plane. In the meantime, according to consistent reports from several media outlets, he is said to be living in the posh Moscow suburb of Razdory, a good ten kilometers from Vladimir Putin’s private chateau Novo Ogaryovo and with a security guarantee from the Russian secret service. Even the street where Marsalek is supposed to live is known: Beregovaya.
Amid oligarchs, top military officers, and celebrities, Marsalek should be able to keep up financially: He is said to have funnelled hundreds of millions of euros from Wirecard into his accounts, Handelsblatt reports. Former Wirecard investors are thus still paying the man who ruined them a comfortable life in the elite neighborhood secured with turnpikes.