Accounting

Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun was arrested for a 2nd time in relation to the company’s $2 billion accounting scandal

Reuters

  • Wirecard’s former chief executive Markus Braun has been rearrested in Munich as German prosecutors dug deeper into allegations of fraud at the fintech firm.
  • Two other executives — revealed by the Financial Times as Wirecard’s former finance boss, Burkhard Ley, and Stephan von Erffa, ex-head of accounting — were also arrested.
  • Former chief operating officer, Jan Marsalek, has likely escaped to Russia with the “clear help of Russian intelligence,” two officials told Business Insider. 
  • Wirecard filed for insolvency a month ago soon after revealing an amount of 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion) was missing from its balance sheet, and likely never existed.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun has been arrested for the second time as German prosecutors probed further into a fraud investigation surrounding the company’s reputedly inflated balance sheet.

Two other executives — named by the Financial Times as

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German finance company Wirecard files for insolvency amid accounting scandal

German financial technology company Wirecard is filing for insolvency after an accounting scandal that led to the arrest of its former chief executive earlier this week.

The payment systems provider said it would make the filing at a district court in Munich “due to impending insolvency and over-indebtedness”.

It added in a brief statement that it is evaluating whether insolvency applications also have to be filed for its subsidiaries.

Markus Braun resigned as CEO on Friday after the company said that auditors could not find accounts containing 1.9 billion euros (£1.69 billion).

On Monday, Wirecard said it had concluded that the money probably does not exist, and Braun turned himself in to prosecutors hours later.

Markus Braun is under investigation (Matthias Schrader/AP)
Markus Braun is under investigation (Matthias Schrader/AP)

Braun was arrested on suspicion of market manipulation and inflating financial numbers, and later freed on bail

Adding to the damage to Germany’s corporate reputation was the reaction

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British Accounting Firms Face New Setback as FRC Opens Probe

(Bloomberg) — Britain’s audit industry faces another dent to its reputation as the nation’s accounting watchdog ordered a probe into PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Ernst & Young and Oliver Clive & Co.’s work for defunct London Capital & Finance Plc.

The Financial Reporting Council said in a statement on Wednesday that its enforcement unit will look at the audits of now defunct mini-bond lender London Capital & Finance for the periods ending April 30, 2015, the year ending April 30, 2016 and for the year ending April 30, 2017.

London Capital & Finance issued mini-bonds, taking funds from about 14,000 customers that the company said it used to make loans to corporations for investment. It went into administration after the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and Serious Fraud Office opened investigations.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for the accounting firms. The so-called Big Four, including PwC and Ernst & Young, have

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Germany to overhaul accounting regulation after Wirecard scandal

Markus Braun, former chief executive of Wirecard - Michael Daider /Reuters
Markus Braun, former chief executive of Wirecard – Michael Daider /Reuters

Germany’s accounting watchdog is set to be stripped of its powers in the wake of the Wirecard scandal. 

The government will end its contract with the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP) as soon as Monday, according to reports.

The job of overseeing company accounts will be taken on by Bafin, Germany’s financial regulator. 

“We have reached an agreement with the Finance Ministry to terminate the contract,” a Justice Ministry official told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper

Germany has been rocked by the collapse of payments company Wirecard, which filed for insolvency last week after admitting that €1.9bn (£1.7bn)  of cash on its balance sheet probably didn’t exist

Markus Braun, chief executive of the Dax-listed company, resigned on June 19 and was then arrested on suspicion of accounting fraud and market manipulation. 

German authorities are facing questions over

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Wirecard Exposes Big 4 Accounting Lapses Endure Post-Enron

(Bloomberg) — Two decades of financial disasters from Enron Inc.’s collapse in 2001 to Wirecard AG’s meltdown have left the Big Four accounting firms facing a major cultural problem that regulators may struggle to resolve.

The 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) missing from Wirecard’s balance sheet brought the chief executive officer’s arrest, the German payments firm’s insolvency filing and a lot of finger-pointing. Some have blamed German regulator BaFin for its oversight failures. Wirecard’s auditor, Ernst & Young, called it an “elaborate” fraud that even a very rigorous probe may not have discovered.

But EY is also on the hot seat. It was added to a class-action style lawsuit against Wirecard on Tuesday, and stands accused of failing in its most fundamental duty. It’s a systemic problem facing not just EY, but also the other members of the Big Four: KPMG, Deloitte and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, according to Atul Shah, an accounting

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