Jun 23, 2020

Wirecard: Former boss arrested over €1.9bn scandal

The ex-boss of scandal-hit payments firm Wirecard has been arrested in Germany. Markus Braun resigned last Friday after auditor EY refused to sign off the firm's 2019 accounts over a missing €1.9bn. The money accounts for about a quarter of the firm's total balance sheet. The missing €1.9bn was supposedly held in accounts at two Asian banks and had been set aside for "Risk management", Wirecard had said. "The Management Board of Wirecard assesses on the basis of further examination that there is a prevailing likelihood that the bank trust account balances in the amount of 1.9 billion EUR do not exist," the company said in a statement. When Wirecard joined Germany's blue-chip Dax 30 share index two years ago it was valued at €24bn. But the company's shares have crashed more than 80% in recent days giving it a stock market valuation of less than €3bn. The scandal at the firm emerged after a series of articles in the Financial Times last year focusing on alleged accounting irregularities in Wirecard's Asian operations.

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