JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said the Filipino lawyer linked to the financial scandal involving German payment remittance firm Wirecard has told investigators that he has received death threats after he came out to deny his role in the controversy.
Guevarra said lawyer Mark Tolentino disclosed this Monday when he went to the National Bureau of Investigation to explain his side on the missing $2.1 billion of Wirecard.
“He said he’s receiving death threats,” Guevarra said in a text message though he declined to provide additional details, adding that Tolentino “undertook to submit a formal affidavit to the NBI.”
The affidavit will also contain his explanation on his alleged involvement in the controversy.
“Atty. Tolentino said he was hired by his principal early this year to provide consultancy services,” Guevarra said but refused to say more when asked to elaborate.
Tolentino was reported to have been appointed as a trustee of Wirecard to open six accounts in Philippine banks to hold the $2.1 billion in escrow.
But Tolentino claimed he was framed up and was actually a victim of identity theft.
He earlier claimed that several foreigners went to his office early this year telling him they wanted to open a business in the country.
Tolentino said he told them to open a corporation if they want to invest in the country but that the foreigners told him they were in a hurry. He said they asked him to be a trustee of the company.
Later, Tolentino said he opened three euro accounts in the name of his law firm M.K. Tolentino Business Consultancy Office at the BDO Unibank and three more at the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
But he said the accounts were neither in the name nor held in trust of Wirecard.
He claimed he later found out that Wirecard presented documents showing the name of the bank accounts to account for the missing funds.
Both banks have denied any involvement with the German firm saying the papers presented to them were forged.
Tolentino is no stranger to controversy as he once served as assistant secretary at the Department of Transportation until Duterte fired him in 2018 for allegedly making questionable deals with one of Duterte’s sisters.