An ex-Wirecard executive who went on the lam amid the German payment firm’s $2 billion accounting scandal was reportedly a mole for Austrian spies.
German authorities have evidence that Jan Marsalek, Wirecard’s former chief operating officer, was an informant for the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism, the Austrian intelligence agency known as the BVT, according to Munich’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
The outlet’s Thursday report cited the German government’s response to a written question from lawmaker Fabio De Masi. Another member of German parliament, Patrick Sensburg, told the Handelsblatt newspaper that Marsalek may have worked for “several secret services from different countries,” though he did not cite specific evidence for the claim.
“In clearing up the Wirecard scandal, Austria and Germany should now work closely and trustingly together,” Sensburg told the paper, according to a translation.
Authorities have been searching for Marsalek since Wirecard admitted in June that roughly 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) listed on its accounts likely didn’t exist. The financial-tech giant filed for insolvency that month after former CEO Markus Braun was arrested in relation to the scandal.
Marsalek’s exact whereabouts are unknown, but Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine reported in July that he traveled to Minsk, Belarus soon after Wirecard suspended him in June.
Interpol has issued a so-called red notice for the 40-year-old, saying he faces charges for allegedly violating German securities laws, fraud and “criminal breach of trust.” Police have accused Marsalek and Braun of using bogus income from transactions related to deals with “third-party acquirers” to make the company look more attractive to investors.
With Post wires