German prosecutors have charged the former chief executive of payments company Wirecard and two other ex-managers with fraud and false accounting in connection with the firm's collapse last year amid allegations that much of its revenue and assets were faked.
Prosecutors in Munich alleged ex-chief executive Markus Braun signed off on financial reports he knew were false.
They said the firm booked non-existent revenue it attributed to multiple partnerships in other countries and used fake documents to show it had funds that it did not.
The firm’s former head of accounting and the managing director of a Dubai-based subsidiary were also charged.
The fraud cost banks €3.1 billion in loans and writedowns, according to the prosecutors’ statement.
One of the central figures in the case, the company's former chief operating officer Jan Marsalek, is being sought by authorities, prosecutors said.
Mr Braun’s lawyer said the charges were “seriously flawed” and “assumed a false picture of the facts”, the dpa news agency reported. The defence says Mr Braun was unaware of machinations by others. He remains in custody.
A court must first agree that the case can proceed before a trial can be held. – AP