TL;DR: Wirecard CEO Markus Braun turned himself in to Munich police overnight after a tumultuous five days that saw the veteran executive having to explain why €1.9 billion in company funds were unaccounted-for during a routine audit. Since the revelation and subsequent outrage, Braun resigned, and the publicly traded German stock plummeted 90% at the time of publication.
Wirecard CEO Arrested
Germany-based payment processor and financial services provider Wirecard AG underwrites popular cryptocurrency debit cards such as those from Crypto.com, TenX, CryptoPay, and Wirex. Top accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) refused signing-off on a critical recent audit of Wirecard due to €1.9 billion in cash missing.
Over the weekend, Braun resigned, hinting at possible foul play being involved in the accounting audit gap. By Monday, a company COO was fired, fueling still more speculation about the vanished or non-existent funds. Braun is now in the hands of prosecutors “on suspicion of accounting fraud and market manipulation,” Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.
“A statement from the prosecutors’ office said Braun had been detained on suspicion of inflating the company’s balance sheet and revenues to make it appear stronger and more attractive for investors and customers. Three other managers are also under investigation,” DW explained, apparently prompted by a recent statement from the company about “a prevailing likelihood that the bank trust account balances in the amount of €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) do not exist.”
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