The charge sheet against former Wirecard boss Marcus Braun and two other executives runs to 474 pages and will take five hours to read out, in a Munich court case that opens today and is expected to last for a more than a year.
Wirecard was a rising blue chip star before its collapse following the discovery of a gaping €1.9 billion hole in its balance sheet.
Former Wirecard chief Braun and two other board members, former finance boss Burkhard Ley and the group’s head of accounting Stephan von Erffa, have spent the past two years behind bars awaiting their day in court. Prosecutors allege that Braun and his accomplices stole more than €255m of Wirecard funds, mainly through fake loans, and doctored accounts to dupe banks and other creditors.
Braun is charged with fraud, misappropriation of corporate assets, accounting fraud and market manipulation. Munich prosecutors say that he signed off on financial reports he knew to be false and that the company booked revenue that did not exist.
Braun was arrested after the former head of Wirecard's Dubai unit, Oliver Bellenhaus, came clean to prosecutors about his role in the collapse of the company. Braun denies any knowledge of the manipulated accounts.
An arrest warrant remains outstanding for former COO Jan Marsalek, who is on Interpol's Most Wanted list after going on the run as the house of cards built by him and Braun collapsed.