July 17, 2020 / 3:22 AM / 22 days ago

Jailed executive in Wirecard scandal offers confession, lawyer says

The logo of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions, is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim, near Munich, Germany, July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/Files

MUNICH (Reuters) - The former head of a key subsidiary of Wirecard, who was arrested earlier this month, has admitted wrongdoing to prosecutors for his role in a multi-billion-euros fraud, his lawyer said on Thursday.

It is the first known confession of wrongdoing in the collapse of one of Germany’s biggest companies.

The unidentified jailed executive was the chief executive officer of Dubai-based Cardsystems Middle East.

“My client has voluntarily given himself up for the proceedings and - in contrast to others - takes individual responsibility,” his defence lawyer Nicolas Fruehsorger said.

The Munich prosecutors declined to comment. They have not identified the individual by name to avoid prejudicing legal proceedings.

Wirecard filed for insolvency last month owing creditors 4 billion euros ($4.55 billion) after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro hole in its accounts that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

The executive had travelled from Dubai and turned himself in last week.

The arrest was made on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud, attempted fraud and aiding and abetting other crimes, prosecutors said.

($1 = 0.8788 euros)

Reporting Joern Poeltz; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis

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