Germany Probing Possible Insider Trading of Wirecard Shares

The company is already facing litigation in multiple jurisdictions.

BaFin, the German financial market regulator, is looking into the possibility of insider trading of the shares of now-collapsed fintech Wirecard.

According to a Bloomberg report, the market watchdog ordered the Munich prosecutors to probe into the matter. This came as an individual on an online forum posted eight days before the slump of the company’s shares that Ernst and Young, the auditor of the fintech, would find some discrepancies on the accounts, delaying the publication of its annual report.

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The Wirecard saga

Wirecard share price took a nosedive on June 17, when the auditor reported that it could not find €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) in cash held in its bank accounts. The shares of the once highflying company dropped over 97 percent since that day and are now trading at €2.37 apiece, as of press time.

Apart from that, the Munich prosecutors are also reportedly investigating other possible crimes by the company and its top executives.

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The former CEO of the company, Marcus Braun, was also arrested by the German prosecutors for fraud, who is now out on a bail. Meanwhile, several jurisdictions including Singapore and the Philippines have opened investigations against the company.

Last week, Wirecard’s Dubai operations head was arrested in Germany under the suspicion of aggravated fraud while the fintech Irish branch was raided by the local authorities. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) suspended the e-money and payments license of Wirecard UK, but later lifted most of the restrictions.

Meanwhile, the Asian and North American businesses of the fintech are seeking buyers. Finance Magnates earlier reported that Indian fintech unicorn Pine Labs is among the other participants seeking to buy Wirecard’s Asian operation.

The collapse of such a giant and the possible financial fraud conducted by it also prompted the German government to give additional responsibilities to BaFin for probing publicly-listed companies’ accounts.

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