German prosecutors arrested three Wirecard executives Wednesday, as an investigation into the company’s inflated balance sheet and a missing $2 billion continues to expand.
The Munich prosecutor’s office announced it rearrested former Wirecard Chief Executive Markus Braun, as well as several other company executives the office identified by their positions and initials. The Financial Times reported the arrests included former Wirecard Chief Financial Officer Burkhard Ley and the company’s former head of accounting, Stephan von Erffa.
Wirecard, a payment processing company, was an influential and successful member of Germany’s FinTech industry until auditors discovered that $2 billion listed on its accounting books did not exist. In June, the company filed for insolvency. Meanwhile, German prosecutors, lawmakers, and financial regulators are launching probes into how the scandal happened and who is responsible.
Other Wirecard executives have been arrested or are being sought, according to Business Insider.
Oliver Bellenhaus, the head of Wirecard’s Dubai subsidiary, CardSystems Middle East, was arrested earlier this month, Business Insider reported. But Jan Marsalek, the company’s one-time chief operating officer, may have escaped to Russia with the help of the Russian intelligence service, Business Insider said.
The Wall Street Journal reported the Wirecard scandal is spilling into German politics, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have promoted Wirecard to Chinese officials last fall even as her office was aware of financial irregularities at the company.