Last updated on May 1, 2020
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis any politicians, such as the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, are advising their citizens that the coronavirus has heralded a New Normality that is here to stay. If there are two terms that investors no longer want to hear, then COVID-19 and Wirecard. Both terms are associated with a massive threat to our financial health Wirecard CEO Markus Braun evidently pretends to stand for his shareholders’ New Normality.
What COVID-19 is to society, the public-listed German FinTech Wirecard is certainly to the world of shareholders. Sebastian Kurz‘ sponsor Markus Braun, CEO and main shareholder of DAX-listed Wirecard seems to rein over his group with absolute power. Like Kurz, Braun tends to make rather apodictic statements that are accepted by a Wirecard fan community with astonishingly little critical sense. This fan community is also very aggressive against critics and unbelievers.
Truth is, however, that Wirecard has evidently a lot to hide. Especially when it comes to the company’s past, its accounting and its participation as facilitating payment processor in cybercrime organizations and investment scams. With most other listed companies, the already known facts alone would be enough to fire the CEO. Think about Uber or WeWork. There, the founders and CEO’s had to hand in their resignation after various misdemeanors and questionable numbers. Not so with Wirecard. Welcome to the New Normality.
KPMG unable to check €1 Billion
Today the long-awaited KPMG special audit report was published. According to Wirecard, the presentation was delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Numerous professional analysts, journalists, and fans have already read eagerly.
Bottom line is that KPMG declines to sign off on the group sales for 2016, 2017, and 2018 as they have not been able to perform third-party checks. Shockingly, KPMG was unable to check 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in transactions with third parties.
KPMG was not sufficiently able to forensically trace the existence of the transaction volumes in the 2016 to 2018 investigation period […] Bank statements that prove the receipt of payments of about €1bn at escrow agent 1, were not submitted to us.KPMG Report on Wirecard
Only for Dec 2019, it would have been easier again, says KPMG, because then all documents would be in Wirecard‘s possession and complete meaning that no third-party checks have been necessary.
Shares slumped more than 20 % in early trade today.
The KPMG report does not only not invalidate the accusation of non-transparent transactions and accounting malversations in the years mentioned. On the contrary! The refusal of the business partners to submit the documents to KPMG confirms these accusations. Why else would the documents be withheld, if not to cover up something? Common sense tells you that, doesn’t it?
Facilitating Investment Scams
FinTelegram has already referred in great detail to the involvement of Wirecard UK & Ireland under the leadership of Michelle Molloy in the broker scams of GreyMountain Management Ltd (GMM) of the Canadian-born Israeli David Cartu. In Ireland, the million-dollar lawsuits of dozens of aggrieved small investors are pending against GMM, which has meanwhile gone into liquidation.
We know that the GMM scams had really gigantic dimensions and scammed retail investors around the world through a variety of broker scam brands and dummy companies. From North America to Europe and Asia to Australia. These scams took place between 2015 and 2017 and must have been reflected in the Wirecard balance sheets of those years in one way or the other. GMM was only one of the investment scam networks facilitated by Wirecard.
FinTelegram already exposed Wirecard’s involvement in the exposed scam scheme around Option888 and its perpetrator Uwe Lenhoff which has been arrested in early 2019 already. Ironically, the KPMG report has neither mentioned and/or investigated the connections with Lenhoff or Cartu.
What’s happening now in the New Normality?
As we know Braun, he will use the KPMG report to say that none of the accusations were explicitly confirmed. Whoever believes him is to blame himself.
In our opinion, the supervisory authorities have to finally act NOW. So how can the company’s auditor Ernst & Young sign off on the Wirecard accounts for 2019 with such a devastating report on the governance and compliance system of the Company? Germany is anyway already the preferred place to go for money laundering should Germany become also the preferred place to go for accounting fraud? So BAFIN it is finally time to act!
It is a fundamental, constitutional right for shareholders provided by law statutes to receive TRUE and complete information. Braun ignores this right. Let alone his responsibility for running a legitimate business.