Wirecard sees no conclusive evidence of fraud as police start probe
Wirecard AG expects an investigation by an outside law firm to dismiss concerns of accounting breaches and validate conclusions already made by an internal inquiry, as it looks to move past fraud allegations.
The digital payments company will publish the key findings of Singapore-based firm Rajah & Tann when the full report is finalized “in the very near future,” Chief Executive Officer Markus Braun said Monday on a conference call. The company’s internal compliance department determined that the allegations were “unfounded. Full stop.”
“We consider this whole issue as resolved” and expect no material revelations from the Rajah & Tann’s final conclusions, Braun said. “Such events do not distract us one minute,” he said, adding the company expects a “strong” 2019.
The latest alleged breaches took place between 2015 and 2018 and relate to revenue totaling 6.9 million euros, costs of 4.1 million euros and intellectual property valued at 2.6 million euros, said the company, which is based near Munich. Analysts estimate the company generated 2.06 billion euros in revenue last year.
An internal compliance inquiry concluded the claims may have been motivated by “personal animosity.” Braun said he didn’t know whether the individual who made the allegations was still employed by Wirecard, saying whistle-blowers are granted anonymity.
The Singapore police “are looking into the matter,” a spokeswoman for the authorities said Monday. In Germany, financial regulator BaFin is looking at the issue for signs of possible market manipulation, and Munich prosecutors are also reviewing the facts to decide whether to open a probe.
Wirecard, often the target of short sellers, is trying to turn the page and will let authorities determine what, if anything, happens next.
“Our job is to build a strong company,” said Braun. “This is my focus, to bring up innovations etc. So, I personally will not spend one minute on this issue.”