Wirecard CEO Markus Braun resigned suddenly on Friday as the scandal-hit fintech's share price nosedived a further 50% on Friday. The German payments firm is at the center of a huge accounting scandal after it revealed it was unable to trace €1.9 billion in cash balances. The company has also been subject to a long-running investigation by the Financial Times over its accounting practices. In a terse statement issued Friday, Wirecard said Braun stepped down with the agreement of its board and that chief compliance officer James Freis was temporarily taking on the CEO role. Earlier on Friday, Braun had suggested that Wirecard itself might be the victim of fraud. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The chief executive of scandal-hit German payments firm Wirecard stepped down suddenly on Friday, after a torrid 48 hours during which the firm revealed that nearly 2 billion euros in cash balances had gone missing. Wirecard announced the immediate departure of Markus Braun in a short statement on Friday, stating that chief compliance officer James Freis would take up the CEO role in the interim. Braun's resignation is the latest in a wave of developments that has sent Wirecard's share price crashing. On Thursday, the once highly valued firm said on Thursday that its auditors at EY could not confirm "sufficient audit evidence" of about 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion) in its cash balances, effectively saying the money had gone missing. Shares plummeted over 65%. This is a developing story...Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths
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The Philippines is investigating Wirecard and its missing $2 billion, and a local lawyer says he's being framed, say reports
The Philippines is investigating local businesses that partnered the collapsed German payments company Wirecard, the Financial...The Philippines is investigating local businesses that partnered the collapsed German payments company Wirecard, the Financial Times reported. Wirecard went into administration and its former CEO Markus Braun was arrested after the firm claimed that more than $2 billion had disappeared from its balance sheet. Its auditor EY said the firm committed elaborate fraud. Wirecard had claimed the money was stored in two Philippine banks, which they both denied. Now the authorities will probe around five local businesses thought to be involved with Wirecard. Separately, a Filipino lawyer who opened bank accounts for Wirecard in the Philippines claims he's being framed for fraud. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Philippine authorities will probe local businesses thought to have connections to disgraced German payments firm Wirecard, which collapsed after admitting to a 1.9 billion euro ($2 billion) hole in its balance sheet, the Financial Times reported. The investigation is the latest probe as authorities in Singapore, Germany, and Brussels attempt to unpick the firm's accounting irregularities. According to the newspaper, the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation and Anti-Money Laundering Council will examine five businesses thought to be involved. The FT named Centurion Online Payment International, PayEasy Solutions, and ConePay International, all of which the newspaper had earlier identified in a March 2019 investigation as partners of Wirecard. According to that investigation, Wirecard claimed hefty commissions from several of these businesses, which didn't appear to have the paperwork (or the physical offices) to back the financial claims up. Separately, a Filipino lawyer who opened up six bank accounts for Wirecard has claimed he is being framed for the company's missing billions. Wirecard initially claimed its missing money was held in two Philippine banks, although both denied it. Lawyer Mark Tolentino told Reuters that he was the "victim of a frame-up." Tolentino has not been charged with a crime, but Philippine authorities said they plan to question the lawyer as part of their investigation. Tolentino told Reuters he had opened accounts for a Singapore-based firm, but didn't know it was Wirecard. "It seemed that all fingers were pointing to me to be the thief and manipulator of the missing money," he said. "I want to clear my name." Reuters noted that the lawyer declined to show documents that would clear his name. Wirecard filed for insolvency on Thursday, shortly after the arrest of its former CEO Markus Brown in Germany on suspicion of market manipulation and false accounting practices. The company was once the rising star of Germany's financial tech sector. It earlier admitted than more than $2 billion had disappeared from its balance sheet, and then later said the money may never have existed. The company's auditor EY on Friday accused it of orchestrating "an elaborate and complex fraud."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Tax Day is now July 15 — this is what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
Markus Braun built Wirecard to “conquer the world,” but those aspirations attracted skeptics. Its accounting scandal...Markus Braun built Wirecard to “conquer the world,” but those aspirations attracted skeptics. Its accounting scandal has sent shock waves through Germany.
Wirecard stock plummets 37% after the payments firm says $2 billion in missing cash likely doesn't exist
German payments startup Wirecard said on Monday that around $2 billion in cash missing from its...German payments startup Wirecard said on Monday that around $2 billion in cash missing from its balance sheet likely does not exist. Wirecard's shares plunged as much as 46%, and it withdrew its full-year-2019 and first-quarter-2020 results. Chief executive Markus Braun quit on Friday, capping a disastrous week for the scandal-hit firm. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. German fintech group Wirecard said on Monday that its missing cash balance of around 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion) likely does not exist. Shares of the payments processor tumbled 46% in early trading, and were down 37% as of 6:50 a.m. ET. Wirecard CEO Markus Braun resigned last Friday after the company said 1.9 billion euros of cash was missing from its balance sheet, a fact uncovered by auditors at EY. At first, the company reportedly said the money was held in two Philippine banks, but the banks denied the money had ever entered their accounts. The governor of the country's central bank said documents provided to EY appeared to be forged. Read More: A notorious market bear says inexperienced 'zombie investors' are fueling a stock-market bubble — and warns that even the Fed won't be able to prevent another 30% crash In a statement released on Monday, Wirecard's board said the "prevailing likelihood" is that the cash does not exist. It is holding "constructive discussions" with lenders about credit lines and future transactions, it said. The Munich-based company said it was considering "cost reductions, restructuring, disposal or termination of business units." The scandal-hit company also withdrew an assessment of its full-year-2019 and first-quarter-2020 results. On June 18, Wirecard said that if its financial results were not published by the next day, then around 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) worth of loans to the company could be terminated. Braun's abrupt resignation capped a torrid 48 hours for the company, during which its shares crashed 80%. Read more: Jefferies created a 6-step process for finding companies that will keep paying strong dividends — and landed on these 20 global stocks as 'rock-solid' picks SEE ALSO: The IPO market is back after its March freeze. Here's what experts say revived it and where it's going from here. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship