A Filipino lawyer embroiled in a multi-billion dollar fraud at Wirecard, Mark Tolentino, told Reuters that he was surprised to be linked to the German payments firm and that he was the “victim of a frame-up”.
Wirecard went bankrupt earlier this week after disclosing that $2.1 billion of cash supposed to be in bank accounts in the Philippines probably didn’t exist. The revelation led to the arrest of its former chief executive and has triggered probes in Germany, Brussels and the Philippines as investigators try to determine what happened.
In a phone interview with Reuters, Tolentino said he opened six bank accounts for a Singapore-based firm but did not know until the scandal broke that they were for Wirecard. He said the accounts never had more than a few hundred euros in them.
“It seemed that all fingers were pointing to me to be the thief and manipulator of the missing money,” he said. “I want to clear my name.”
“I am a victim of identity theft and fake news and frame up,” Tolentino added.
He declined to provide documents or other evidence to show how he had been duped.
Tolentino, 39, has not been charged with any crime. Philippines Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told Reuters that Tolentino would be questioned on Monday as part of its investigation.
“He’s the first to be invited to shed light on the matter,” Guevarra said.
The Philippine government has not said what its probe will focus on.
Wirecard declined to comment.