Protective German Prosecutors – Markus Braun released with €5 million bond while selling shares for €155 million
The imprisonment of former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun was brief. His former colleague on the Board of Management and long-time companion Jan Marsalek was not even within reach of the law enforcement agents because he was allegedly in the Philippines, i.e. he is on the run. But back to Braun.
The Austrian, who is a member of a think tank of the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, was arrested by the German law enforcement agents (police) on Monday evening. After a few hours, he was released on bail of €5 million. According to a statement by the responsible public prosecutor’s office, Braun must report to the authorities once a week.
While Markus Braun was released on bail, an extensive share transaction apparently took place which brought Braun more than €150 million. He is apparently no longer the main shareholder of Wirecard.
The Margin Call
On June 23, 2020, Wirecard announced that Braun sold a block of shares worth €155 million via his German MB Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH at a price level of over €26, which makes a €5 million bail look meager. There seems to be a lack of proportionality here.
Admitted, the sale of shares allegedly was not voluntary, but the result of a margin call of Deutsche Bank. And the proceeds from the sale of the shares were used to pay off Braun’s loan from Deutsche Bank. €150 million was the amount of a loan from Deutsche Bank to Braun in 2017
Nevertheless, this is a totally alienating transaction at the expense of small shareholders. The Deutsche Bank certainly did not stain itself with glory and the transaction will have to be investigated.
The Pocket Money Bail
At first glance, a €5 million bail sounds like a lot, but in fact, it’s a very bad joke of the Munich public prosecutor’s office.
- Markus Braun is strongly suspected of being responsible for the disappearance of €1.9 billion somewhere in the Philippines.
- His former colleague on the board of directors Jan Marsalek is supposed to be there right now. Coincidence? The German public prosecutor’s office apparently sees no danger of collusion. We do!
- Even though Braun has lost quite a fortune because of the Wirecard stock crash but he for sure is a rich guy for whom €5 million is pocket money!
Let’s think for a few seconds! Wirecard has officially announced that the balance sheets of the last few years were wrong and now billions are missing. Responsible for this was Markus Braun as CEO of the company. It seems that he and Marsalek have systematically lied to the public and Wirecard shareholders over the years and thus earned many hundreds of millions. Among other things, by keeping the share high with fictitious turnovers and false statements about liquidity. As the main shareholder, he has made a fortune with this malicious behavior.
Julius Meinl and the €100m Bail
More than 10 years ago, the Austrian banker Julius Meinl was suspected of balance sheet manipulation and money laundering by the Austrian public prosecutors. Among other things, several hundred million are said to have been laundered through his Meinl Bank. Meinl had to post a bail of €100 million to avoid arrest. Wirecard‘s dimension is much larger than that of the Austrian Meinl Bank. And Braun is released with a bail of €5 million. A bad joke and a very wrong signal to cybercriminals and investors.