By his own admission, ex-Wirecard manager Oliver Bellenhaus made a good profit from the company’s billion-dollar fraud. But he never owned its shares: “That would have been a bad investment.
According to ex-manager Oliver Bellenhaus, his involvement in the alleged Wirecard billion-dollar fraud earned him 4.8 million euros. According to the report, Bellenhaus, who worked in Dubai from 2013 to 2020, received this sum as a one-off payment, diverted from company funds and bypassed the payroll department. He put his original monthly salary at 13,000 euros in the Wirecard criminal proceedings on Thursday.
Bellenhaus is the prosecution’s key witness in the trial.
“The salary I received at Wirecard was not commensurate with my position for a long time,” Bellenhaus told the fourth criminal chamber of the Munich I Regional Court. The manager, who has been in pre-trial detention for more than two and a half years, was managing director of the subsidiary Cardsystems Middle East in Dubai until the collapse of the scandal group in the summer of 2020.
According to his own statement, Bellenhaus demanded a salary increase; he envisaged an annual salary of 900,000 to 950,000 euros. Chief Sales Officer Jan Marsalek had rejected this – and instead proposed a “one-off special payment” of 4.8 million euros. Bellenhaus invested the money in a foundation in Liechtenstein.
The defense lawyers of former CEO Markus Braun have accused Bellenhaus of diverting hundreds of millions of euros from the Group. Bellenhaus has repeatedly denied this. He also said he did not own Wirecard shares: “That would have been a bad investment.”
Into the scam, by his own account, he slipped gradually over years, but wouldn’t stand down or turn himself in to prosecutors: “When I’ve gone in somewhere, I’ve never gone out backwards and cried.”
A large part of Wirecard’s fictitious business with invented payment services was conducted via Dubai. Over the years, according to Bellenhaus, the effort involved in inventing fictitious sales became so great that real business was hardly possible: “There was also no time left to deal with customers.”
Bellenhaus has been on trial since December along with former CEO Markus Braun and the former chief accountant. According to the indictment, they are alleged to have falsified the payment service provider’s balance sheets since 2015 and cheated lending banks out of 3.1 billion euros.