The criminal trial against former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun begins on December 8th. The Greater Criminal Chamber at the Munich Regional Court initially scheduled 100 days of trials until 2024, the judicial press office announced on Wednesday. The venue is the courtroom in the Munich-Stadelheim prison.
Largest case of fraud in post-war history
In the largest fraud case in German post-war history, the public prosecutor's office indicted Braun and two other former Wirecard managers on suspicion of commercial gang fraud. Braun has been in custody since July 2020.
According to the indictment, Braun and his accomplices have falsified Wirecard's balance sheets since 2015 and damaged lending banks by 3.1 billion euros. In June 2020, the former Dax group collapsed after the audit of the annual financial statements revealed sham bookings of almost two billion euros.
The ex-CEO, who comes from Austria, has rejected the allegations of the prosecution. Braun sees himself as a victim of criminal activities. The former Sales Director Jan Marsalek left in the summer of 2020 and is still in hiding today.
Temporarily worth over 20 billion euros
After its rise to the Dax on the stock exchange in 2018, Wirecard was temporarily worth over 20 billion euros. With the bankruptcy, tens of thousands of shareholders lost their investment. The former billionaire Braun was also ruined by the collapse of his company because he had invested almost his entire fortune in Wirecard shares.
The maximum sentence for particularly serious cases of fraud is ten years imprisonment. A conviction requires that the accused acted with full intention - there is no criminal offense of negligent fraud.