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Former CEO Of Wirecard Arrested In Germany Over The Missing $2.1bn

Former CEO Of Wirecard Arrested In Germany Over The Missing $2.1bn
Prosecutors in Munich said that the former CEO of German payment service provider Wirecard has been put under arrest in an accounting scandal that has sent ripples throughout the global financial industry in recent times.
Markus Braun had resigned from his position in the company last Friday and was arrested on Tuesday. These scandal and its details were made public by the company when it announced that its auditors were unable to locate accounting details that allegedly contained the 1.9 billion euros or $2.1bn. The company was thus forced to postpone its annual report.
The management board of the company "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 euros do not exist,” said Wirecard on Monday.
That announcement was followed soon after another announcement by the company – that of firing of the company’s chief operating officer, Jan Marsalek, after he had been suspended from the management board of the company earlier in the week.
Marsalek had been in charge of overseeing and managing of the daily operations of the company, including in Southeast Asia, where many believe the fraud had been conducted, said a report published by Germany's DPA news agency.
It has been said that the money is currently being held in escrow accounts at two Philippine banks. The banks however said that they did not have any dealings with Wirecard.
A document that had been put forward to claim that the company was a client of the bank was actually "spurious", said the Bank of the Philippine Islands in a statement about the issue. The other bank that has been drawn into the scandal - BDO Unibank, clarified that the document that was being used to claim the existence of a Wirecard account in the bank was falsified and "carries forged signatures of bank officers". No part of the missing money had entered into the Philippines' financial system, the country's central bank governor has also clarified.

While Wirecard AG was once considered to be one of the shining stars of the fast growing global financial technology sector, the shares of the company have since dropped significantly and consistently following the publication of multiple news reports in the Financial Times related to the accounting irregularities in the Asian operations of the company.
While disputing the news reports that first started ot emerge in February of 2019, Wirecard has said it was the victim of speculators.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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