Fintech startup suspected of withdrawing €100M from Wirecard

by in Cryptocurrency News

Wirecard

The Munich prosecutor's office is investigating a possible connection between the Lithuanian fintech company Finolita and the theft of more than € 100 million from the Wirecard payment service a few weeks before its collapse.

According to the investigation, more than a third of the missing money was received by the former Wirecard COO Jan Marsalek, who is on the wanted list.

Fintech startup Finolita, founded in 2013, offered international banking services. Their clients included gambling and other "high-risk" companies.

In 2017, the startup was bought by the Singaporean payment system Senjo Group.

According to the documents, in the first quarter of 2020, Senjo and its structures borrowed about € 350 million from Wirecard. € 100 million of this amount was a loan taken by a subsidiary of the Ocap group. This amount was transferred to Finolita accounts.

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Later, up to € 35 million was received by Marsalek, who used them to partially repay funds borrowed from the fund of Wirecard CEO Marcus Brown, sources said.

Other interlocutors of the publication reported that Brown himself, using these funds, paid off a debt of € 35 million, which he borrowed from Wirecard Bank in early 2020. The fate of another € 65 million from the Wirecard loan to Ocap is unknown. Ocap itself declared insolvency in December 2020.

Also, the prosecutor's office is checking questionable Wirecard payments in favor of Finolita for € 1.15 million.

In February 2019, Finolita received a license from the Central Bank of Lithuania to perform payment transactions. It remained in effect a year after the Wirecard fraud. The regulator took no action.

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Ekaterina Govina, Director of the Financial Market Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania, said that Finolita has been under investigation by the central bank since the “early fall” of 2020.

After the launch of an investigation into Finolita, European politicians called on Lithuania to strengthen the financial supervision of the industry.