German payments firm Wirecard is facing fresh troubles as its auditors failed to trace about 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in cash deposits kept by the company.
In an official statement published on Thursday, the company revealed that Ernst and Young (EY), the appointed auditor, failed to find the cash which is equivalent to a quarter of Wirecard’s balance sheet.
“It is currently unclear whether fraudulent transactions to the detriment of Wirecard AG have occurred,” said Markus Braun, chief executive of Wirecard. “Wirecard AG will file a complaint against unknown persons.”
The German company also indicated that a trustee of the Wirecard bank accounts might have tried to “deceive the auditor and create a wrong perception of the existence of cash balances.”
This has delayed the publication of the annual report of the company for the fourth time. EY also mentioned that the books of the company need additional audits.
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A company riddled with allegations
The Aschleim-headquartered company offers electronic payments and risk management services, but has faced many allegations over the years.
Earlier in April, KPMG raised questions on the authenticity of the company’s profits as it could not verify the posted numbers.
The German prosecutors also searched Wirecard premises in May as a part of a probe involving the company’s senior management.
The impact of the recent blunder is clearly projected on the stock market as the company shares plummeted 67 percent at the Frankfurt exchange opening. After a slight recovery, the company stock price is down by more than 45 percent from the previous closing price, as of press time.
All these discrepancies also raised questions on Braun’s role who is leading the company since 2002.