Security & Fraud

Wirecard's CEO Wealth Declines Amid Fraud Allegations

Fraud

Wirecard Chief Executive Officer Markus Braun saw his fortune take a hit as shares of his company declined due to a report that alleges fraud at the payments enterprise.

Bloomberg reported Braun's wealth declined $221 million Wednesday (Jan. 30) after the Financial Times reported that a senior executive at Wirecard used forged contracts. That sent shares of Wirecard down 13 percent to 145.15 euros. That's a bit of a recovery from the 25 percent drop earlier in the trading day, reported Bloomberg. It marks the largest intraday decline in the stock in nearly three years, noted the report. Wirecard told Bloomberg the claims are false and misleading.

According to a report in the Financial Times Wednesday, a senior executive at the payments company was suspected in 2018 of using forged and backdated contracts in a series of transactions that were suspicious. The transactions raised concerns about the accounting integrity at Wirecard, noted the report.

Citing a presentation and other documents seen by the Financial Times, the paper reported the transactions were cleared by Edo Kurniawan, who is responsible for the payments group’s accounting in the Asia-Pacific region.  The presentation outlined potential violations of laws in Singapore including falsifying accounts and money laundering. The executive is still employed at Wirecard in the same job, noted the Financial Times. The whistleblower who briefed the Financial Times was prompted to do so because no action was taken on what could have amounted to criminal acts, the person told the paper.

In a statement to the Financial Times, Wirecard said denied the report, saying it takes all compliance and regulatory obligations seriously. According to the Financial Times, Wirecard said it  had “stringent internal and external audits” and any concerns “are always thoroughly and appropriately investigated.”

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