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Former Wirecard Exec Reported Dead

Former Wirecard Exec Reported Dead

The Philippines government has confirmed that Christopher Bauer, a former executive of the bankrupt German payments company Wirecard AG, has died, Reuters reported.

 

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the 44-year-old had been summoned by the Bundeskriminalamt, the German equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in connection with the Wirecard probe, according to Bloomberg. He died on July 27 in a hospital in the Philippines due to natural causes, Guevarra said.

 

The country’s Department of Justice has been investigating a deposit into Bauer’s account from Wirecard Asia in 2015, according to Guevarra.

 

The German payments company, once valued at $28 billion, filed for insolvency in June after disclosing that more than $2 billion of its cash that was supposedly held in trustee-managed bank accounts in two Philippines banks did not exist.

 

Bauer was one of several former Wirecard executives under investigation over the missing funds that led to the collapse of the company. He was part of an ongoing probe by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Anti-Money Laundering Council. 

Wirecard reportedly provided multimillion-dollar loans to Bauer to operate his two businesses in the Philippines, PayEasy Solutions, an online payment company, and Froehlich Tours, a bus and coach rental company.

In March, the Financial Times investigated two Wirecard partners, Centurion Online Payment International and PayEasy Solutions, located in Manila Bay in the Philippines. While PayEasy logos were posted all over the office, the space doubled as the headquarters of Froehlich Tours,the report said. Bauer and his wife Belinda Bauer owned Pay Easy and Froehlich Tours, according to public filings. 

 

While Centurion has not made any filings since 2013, the Bauers have represented Centurion in interactions with Wirecard, the report said.

 

Bauer told the FT he was just an investor, and that as a board member he “does not have much to do with the day-to-day operations” of the bus company. He also denied having a managerial role in PayEasy, which he said provides payments solutions for commuter services offered by the bus firm.

 

On Thursday, (Aug. 13), German investigators issued an all-points bulletin seeking the public’s help in finding former Wirecard AG executive Jan Marsalek. The German authorities said the 40-year-old Austrian citizen is on the run and is “strongly suspected of committing billions in commercial gang fraud” and “a particularly serious case of embezzlement and other property and economic offenses.”

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