Wirecard Whistleblower Launches Company to Spot Misconduct


Pav Gill helped blow the whistle on wrongdoing at German payment company Wirecard.

Now, he’s reportedly launching a platform to help others do the same at their firms.

Gill, who headed the legal department for Wirecard’s Asia-Pacific operations, said in an interview with Bloomberg News Tuesday (Sept. 5) that his Confide platform is designed for companies that want to bolster their governance.

A separate report by Sifted offers more details about Confide. Set to debut in October, it offers protections for employees, such as encrypted keys so that their IPs can’t be traced. The platform gives companies a week to acknowledge that they’ve received a whistleblower’s report, and three months to investigate and report their findings.

From there, the whistleblower and determine if the matter has been handled properly. If not, they can go to the media or to regulators.

The FT report notes that Gill was a crucial figure in shedding light on the fraud at Wirecard. At one time, it had been one of the most valuable companies in Germany, valued at 24 billion euros at the pinnacle of its success.

But the company filed for insolvency in June 2020, becoming the first member of Germany’s Frankfurt Stock Exchange to go out of business, after auditors revealed that $2.1 billion the company had said it had on its books did not actually exist.

Former CEO Markus Braun is on trial for fraud, with proceedings expected to last into next year. In June, a panel of judges in Braun’s case heard that the ex-CEO told his general counsel that compliance was “crap” and unnecessary for the now-defunct company.

Also in June, two former Wirecard executives were sentenced to prison in Singapore.

James Wardhana, ex-international finance process manager of Wirecard Asia, and Chai Ai Lim, who was the head of finance at Wirecard Asia, were sentenced to 21 months and 10 months respectively for conspiring to misappropriate funds. These are the first criminal convictions handed down in charges related to Wirecard’s downfall.

The case is proceeding as the financial world is dealing with an abundance of fraud, as Kiran Hebbar, chief financial officer at identity decisioning platform Alloy, told PYMNTS earlier this year, leading regulators to up their oversight of bank-FinTech relationships.

“Because FinTechs typically are not used to operating in strict regulatory environments, regulators are starting to embrace a more proactive posture to ensure successful anti-fraud measures,” that report said.

This may force FinTechs to put a greater emphasis on compliance and fraud prevention, and, as Hebbar said, require them to embrace a holistic approach to dealing with fraud.

He also noted that technology will be key to this new strategy, which is why firms such as his are working with banks and FinTechs to strengthen their compliance and security capabilities.

“There will be a new operating environment for many companies [in 2023 and beyond],” Hebbar said. “There will be a focus on improving efficiency and profitability … and prioritizing fraud and compliance. Compliance needs to be built into the fabric of every company.”