As a documentary that delves deep into the tale of a once-renowned online payments giant, ‘Skandal! Bringing Down Wirecard’ can only be described as equal parts gripping as well as thrilling. That’s because this Netflix original examines not just the way it rose ranks within the industry through alleged extensive accounting malpractices but also its executives’ other complex interests. So now, if you wish to learn more about Chief Operating Officer turned international fugitive Jan Marsalek — with a specific focus on his possible current standing — we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Jan Marsalek?
Although born in Vienna, Austria, on March 15, 1980, Jan Marsalek reportedly relocated to Germany for good around the late 1990s since he wished to avoid mandatory military service in his homeland. He is thus believed to have established his first e-commerce software corporation at 19, only to quickly be hired by Wirecard (in 2000) for his knowledge of Wireless Application Protocol systems. Yes, he was incredibly smart, but his natural charm, confidence, as well as communication skills were the facets that always made him stand out, as per the James Erskine-directed production.
Therefore, there was no internal surprise when Jan was able to land the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and earn a place on the company’s management board a mere decade later. He then did appear to do a lot for Wirecard, yet it was purportedly mostly related to the accounting fraud to ensure their turnover continued to rise, making him one of the main accused culprits.
It’s also imperative to note that many believe Jan could be a spy for Russia, recruited way back in the 1990s after coming across some officials through the Austrian-Russian Friendship Society. The point that several of his long-term friends allegedly included former international intelligence personnel and his desire to set up border militiamen in war-torn Libya just magnifies this claim further.
Where is Jan Marsalek Today?
Once news of Wirecard missing half its entire revenue and €1.9 billion in cash ($2.3 billion back then) came to light in late June 2020, Jan Marsalek was “extraordinarily suspended” by the firm’s board. He’d actually been implicated in the auditor’s final report, driving him to consult several attorneys before simply fleeing the country because it was clear his impending criminal case was serious.
According to the documentary, the initial reports suggesting Jan had landed in the Philippines on June 23, only to carefully make his way to China the following morning, do not hold any truth. Instead, the former executive had traveled back to his homeland of Austria, from where he boarded the private jet he’d managed to book for the city of Minsk in Belarus at close to €8,000 (paid in cash). Flight records suggest he’d landed at 11:07 pm local time on June 19, 2020, after which he ostensibly crossed into Russia with an Austrian passport with the name Maks Mauer.
As for his current whereabouts, Jan purportedly resides in an elite, gated community in Moscow, Russia, under the direct protection of the Federal Security Service (FSB) government agency. Moreover, it is believed he received Russian citizenship in June 2021, with a proper passport in the name of German Bazhenov — he supposedly also has a second passport under an unknown name. Some reports further indicate the 42-year-old presently serves as a Sputnik V (the local anti-covid vaccine) distributer and maintains a positive relationship with government mercenaries.
Interpol had actually issued a Red Notice against Jan in August 2020 — a request to every agency globally to locate and arrest him — which means he’s one of the most wanted men at the moment. The former Wirecard COO is accused of “commercial gang fraud” amounting to the billions in connection to embezzlement as well as other property and economic offenses. Jan hence keeps himself largely hidden, that is, except for making an online appearance through his Telegram account every few months, and he was last active on January 21, 2022.
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