Wirecard executive reportedly hiding in Moscow under GRU protection

From: RegTech Analyst

Jan Marsalek, former COO of disgraced FinTech Wirecard, is reportedly hiding in Moscow, protected by the Russian secret service.

The company imploded in June after admitting to having a €1.9bn ($2.1bn) hole in its finances.

Wirecard has since filed for insolvency and its ex-CEO Markus Braun has been arrested under suspicion of having taken part in a global billion dollar fraud that allegedly saw the company’s leadership inflate its value. Braun has since been released on bail.

Now German newspaper Handelsblatt has reported that Marsalek might be hiding in Moscow under the protection of the GRU.

Handelsblatt cited anonymous business, judicial and diplomatic sources.

The news comes after German Der Spiegel reported that Marsalek has fled to Belarus  hours after he was fired on June 18.

The scandal first hit the wire after auditor Ernes & Young (EY) refused to sign off on German FinTech giant Wirecard’s financial statement for 2019 after it discovered the €1.9bn-shaped black hole in the FinTech unicorn’s finances.

Just a few days later the payment company admitted that the money may not have existed at all in the first place and on June 25 Wirecard filed for insolvency.

Before collapsing, Wirecard was often held up as an example of Germany’s promising FinTech ecosystem.

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