The former chief operating officer for payments firm Wirecard, which announced $2 billion in missing funds last month, reportedly holds “significant sums” of bitcoin. 

According to a report by leading German business newspaper Handelsblatt, former COO Jan Marsalek has apparently gone into hiding in Russia and is under the supervision of Russian military intelligence. 

The report names Marsalek as a key figure in the meltdown of Germany’s Wirecard division, following the discovery by auditors of $2 billion in missing funds. Wirecard AG’s chief executive Markus Braun was forced to step down in disgrace after holding the position for nearly two decades and the payments firm was declared insolvent. 

Handelsblatt claims Marsalek brought “significant sums” of bitcoin from Dubai to Russia prior to going into hiding as apart of “dubious operations” conducted by Wirecard. 

The Wall Street Journal had previously noted Marsalek’s interest in cryptocurrencies and the technology’s ability to move money discretely. 

A WSJ report in July said, 

Mr. Marsalek liked engaging in late-night discussions about cryptocurrencies and their ability to move money without a trace.

The German payments company had been responsible for issuing several crypto debit cards on behalf of businesses, including 

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