Gowex's former CEO charged over false accounts

Shamed former Gowex CEO, Jenaro Garcia Martin, will face prosecutors on Monday to answer charges of false accounting, distorting financial information, and insider trading.

Former Gowex CEO, Jenaro Garcia Martin

Gowex founder and former CEO, Jenaro Garcia Martin

Spain's High Court charged the free Wi-Fi company's founder and former chief executive after he sensationally admitted to falsifying accounts for the past four years. Garcia Martin will be required to hand over his mobile phone and computer to the court as part of the investigation, Reuters reported.

Gowex, meanwhile, has been granted four months to agree settlements with its creditors or be declared bankrupt, under insolvency proceedings that it began on Thursday. In the insolvency application, a Gowex board member and the company's lawyer described the company as being in disarray, Reuters added.

However, employees of the company said they had no knowledge of the insolvency proceedings in their latest emailed statement on the financial problems, which emerged late last week after U.S. investment company Gotham City Research published claims of false accounting by Gowex.

"Given the information that workers already know, the company has not requested any State of Insolvency," the staff stated, adding. "We are absolutely aside of decisions and actions adopted by the company's management to date."

Despite the claim of being left out of the loop, the workers state they are committed to ensuring "continuity of the business activity," and that they "understand as necessary a quick action and decision from the justice and company's management, in order to reduce the damage caused and bringing the company back to normality as soon as possible."

Nevertheless, Gowex staff vowed to retain the services of "a multidisciplinary and international law firm, to advise us on future actions to be performed."

In a previous statement, staff noted they were considering legal action "as affected part and victims of this situation."

Deutsche Telekom, AT&T and Cisco are among high-profile names on Gowex' books. A Bloomberg report on Tuesday indicated Deutsche Telekom is considering ditching a Wi-Fi hotspot sharing deal it signed with Gowex in 2013.

For more:
- see Reuters' insolvency report
- see this Bloomberg article

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