MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed criminal charges in connection with the financial scandal involving Munich-based Wirecard AG, a company that offered electronic payment transaction services and risk management.
Assistant State Prosecutor Honey Delgado said that aside from the NBI, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is also a complainant in the cases filed May 31, 2021.
The charges filed were for falsification of commercial documents and violations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act and Electronic Commerce Act, according to Delgado, spokesperson of the Office of the Prosecutor General.
Named respondents were lawyer Mark Kristopher G. Tolentino and the M.K. Tolentino Law Office, Joey Dela Cruz Arellano (a.k.a. Joey Cruz Arellano), Judith Singayan Pe, and former Wirecard chief operating officer, Austrian national Jan Marsalek, 41.
Marsalek allegedly funneled some of Wirecard’s missing funds to two Philippine banks, one of them BPI.
In previous interviews, the 40-year-old Tolentino admitted he opened six Euro bank accounts for a Singapore-based firm Citadelle Corp. but did not know they were for the German firm.
Tolentino claimed he was framed and was a victim of identity theft and fake news. President Rodrigo Duterte ordered him fired as Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary.
Marsalek was last reported to have flown to Minsk, Belarus, His whereabouts have been unknown for about a year now.
Bureau of Immigration records showed Marsalek arrived in the Philippines on June 23, 2020 and departed for China the next day but flight documents were falsified, according to the Department of Justice.
International wire agencies reported that days before, Marsalek was fired as COO of the German firm after his fraudulent activities were discovered.
The company collapsed a week later with about USD4 billion owed to its creditors.
He is considered the right-hand man of former Wirecard managing director Markus Braun and was responsible for day-to-day business.
Braun was arrested in Germany, also in June last year, after resigning on accusations that he inflated the company’s balance sheet and manipulated the share price.
The complaint also named an undetermined number of Jane and John Does.
Former Wirecard Asia manager Christopher Bauer, a confidante of Marsalek, died in Manila of natural causes in August last year. He was 44.