Process: Wirecard: Special auditors report pressure and threats

In the Wirecard process, an auditor reported on Thursday about obstructions and attempts to influence the special audit of Wirecard's balance sheets.

Process: Wirecard: Special auditors report pressure and threats

In the Wirecard process, an auditor reported on Thursday about obstructions and attempts to influence the special audit of Wirecard's balance sheets. The former CEO Markus Braun also tried to put the auditing company KMPG under pressure and threatened legal action, said KPMG CEO Sven-Olaf Leitz before the Munich Regional Court.

The payment service provider Wirecard collapsed in June 2020 because allegedly 1.9 billion euros booked in trust accounts in Asia could not be found. According to the system, the money never came. The public prosecutor accuses Braun and two co-defendants of inventing a large part of the business and defrauding banks of three billion euros. Braun denies that. A co-defendant has confessed and appears as a key witness.

Leitz said KPMG did not find the money. Braun then said to him: "Trust me, it's all there. I have mastery knowledge." That's when all the alarm bells went off for him, said Leitz. Wirecard sales manager Jan Marsalek fobbed off the examiners with the strange question: "Who else should have the money? Kim Yong-Il maybe?"

Examination very tough and sluggish

From October 2019, KPMG was to examine the balance sheets from 2016 to 2018 in a special audit on behalf of the Wirecard Supervisory Board and clarify whether allegations of manipulation raised in the “Financial Times” were justified. But the test was very tough, very sluggish, said Leitz. KMPG wanted to "check everything from the contracts to the receipt of money" about the alleged business with third-party partners in Asia. But Wirecard refused documents. Contracts and transaction data were not submitted, cash flows were not traceable.

"There were several attempts to influence us," said Leitz. In April 2020, KPMG "lost confidence in further cooperation and said it no longer makes sense to continue here". Braun threatened legal action. In the final meeting, attempts were made to delete or change passages. KPMG finally reported that 1 billion euros in escrow accounts could not be proven. Braun then issued a stock exchange notification that the special audit had not revealed any evidence of accounting falsification.

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