Bank darling Daniel Wruck suspected of money laundering
The obscure lobbyist Daniel Wruck is closely associated with Frankfurt's financial elite. Now it comes out: There are heaps of suspected cases of money laundering against him – including at banks that have done deals with him.
02/15/2022, 8:34 am
Financial center Frankfurt: Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, DWS – all the major financial institutions in the city are involved in the Wruck case
The obscure entrepreneur and investor Daniel Wruck, who does business with half of Frankfurt's financial elite, is notoriously involved in suspected money laundering cases. According to SPIEGEL information, there are almost 20 suspected cases of money laundering against Wruck at five banks in the Frankfurt area from 2018 to 2021. Specifically, these are Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, the German subsidiary of the major Parisian bank BNP Paribas, Taunussparkasse and Degussa Bank; The latter belongs to Christian Olearius and Max Warburg, the two majority owners of the Hamburg private bank MM Warburg, which is deeply involved in the Cum-Ex tax scandal. As can be heard, Degussa Bank separated from its customer shortly after submitting the suspicious activity report.
None of the banks wanted to comment on the information; As a matter of principle, one cannot speak publicly about customer relationships, they say in unison. Wruck's lawyer also declined to comment further.
According to SPIEGEL information, the reason for the fact that the institutes reported money laundering suspected cases against account holder Wruck is that the “economic background” of the money paid in or paid out is unclear; some money also comes from foreign offshore financial centers, so-called tax havens. If banks have indications that "dirty money" is moving in their accounts or that assets are connected with terrorist financing, for example, they must report this immediately to the Customs Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Subsequently, the underlying transaction, if it is still open, may not be carried out unless this would impede the investigation of a criminal offence. It is unclear what happened next in these cases.
The matter is particularly explosive for Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank
The matter is particularly explosive for Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank. Leading managers from both institutes have business and personal dealings with Wruck, sometimes the boundaries are blurred. A former Deutsche Bank board member borrowed 3.5 million euros from Wruck as a bridging aid when buying a property. In 2020, before he took office, Commerzbank CEO Manfred Knof campaigned for his new employer to increase the existing investment in the financial service provider Arabesque and get involved with the start-up 360X – Wruck was involved in both the search for investors and the capital involved. Knof failed with the Arabesque push, but the 360X deal succeeded. Spicy: In 2021, Knof lived temporarily in an apartment in the elegant West End of Frankfurt that Wruck had sublet to him.
More on the subject
Asoka Wöhrmann, now head of the Deutsche Bank subsidiary DWS, privately commissioned Wruck in 2017 to buy a Porsche Panamera for him and transferred 160,000 euros to the businessman. The deal didn't go through, Wruck transferred the money back to Wöhrmann, adding to other suspected money laundering cases by Deutsche Bank against Wruck.
Deutsche Bank invested millions in the Auto1 Fintech company shortly after the unsuccessful purchase of Porsche – largely due to pressure from Wöhrmann, who was not yet DWS CEO at the time, but head of Deutsche Bank’s private customer business. Here, too, Wruck was looking for investors and was involved in the company himself, as was his confidante Bensen Safa, a Cypriot businessman. Both men, Wruck and Safa, are or were also shareholders in banks in the money laundering paradise of Northern Cyprus.