Germany appeals for leads on fugitive Wirecard boss
August 13, 2020
The former boss of the collapsed financial tech company Wirecard is to be on the run. German authorities have issued a rare public appeal for help to track down Jan Marsalek, who is accused of running "gang-type fraud."
German authorities issued on Wednesday a public appeal for leads to track down wanted fugitive Jan Marsalek, a former boss of the now-defunct Wirecard, who is accused of embezzling billions of euros.
Wirecard went bankrupt after admitting in June it had €1.9 billion ($2.2 billion) missing from its accounts — marking one of the biggest accounting scandals in Germany's post-war history.
Three former top bosses, including the former CEO, of the Munich-based firm have been arrested in connection to suspected fraud and racketeering.
Charges were brought against Marsalek, a 40-year-old Austrian national, on June 22 — but due to Germany's strict privacy laws he had not been publicly named as a suspect. The authorities' rare move to formally disclose his name and make a public appeal for help marks an increased push to track down the former Wirecard chief operating officer.
In a statement, the Munich public prosecutors' office accused Marsalek of "suspected gang-type fraud committed on a repetitive and gainful basis, breach of trust in an especially serious case and other property and economic offenses."
The investigation has led authorities to believe that Marsalek is currently in hiding outside of Germany.
The appeal, issued jointly by Munich public prosecutors and the federal police, was published in English and German.
"Jan Marsalek, ex-board member of Wirecard AG, is strongly suspected of having committed billions in commercial gang fraud, the particularly serious case of embezzlement and other property and economic offenses," the wanted post reads.