Wirecard disclosed Monday (February 4) that based on an investigation by an external law firm it has found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by any employees. Wirecard tapped Rajah & Tann, the law firm, to handle the inquiry.
According to a report in Reuters citing the company, the inquiry of its Singapore finance team was spurred by an article in The Financial Times which claimed there were financial irregularities at the company. That has sent the stock plummeting in recent days.
According to Reuters, Wirecard said in April an employee that is part of the Singapore team raised concerns about the actions of one member of the finance team. In response, Wirecard said it started an inquiry but found no evidence to back up the claims. “Furthermore, there were indications that the allegations could be related to personal animosity between the employees involved,” the company said.
Late last month the FT reported Edo Kurniawan, who is responsible for the payments group’s accounting in the Asia-Pacific region, was accused of using forged and backdated contracts in a series of suspicious transactions in May. That raised worries that there could be accounting problems at Wirecard — and thus the selloff in shares. The FT cited a presentation and other documents it reviewed that showed the executive may have falsified accounts and engaged in money laundering. The paper reported at the time the whistleblower turned to the paper because no action was taken by the company.
Wirecard called the report “inaccurate, misleading and defamatory” and said it “takes all compliance and regulatory obligations extremely seriously” prior to launching the investigation. Despite Wirecard’s claims, the report has raised the ire of German regulator BaFin, which said it would look into the matter to see if it constitutes potential market manipulation under Article 12 of the EU market abuse regulation. That rule prevents the distribution of information that is false or misleading.