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  • fraud, falsifying financial documents and money laundering.

  • All of this at a DAX listed company last June, the dealings that wire card came to light the German payment service provider went bankrupt after executives admitted that almost €2 billion and assets we're likely non existent.

  • Since then, many have been asking, How could this have been happened?

  • Today?

  • A parliamentary inquiry committee is presenting some of their findings to the outside world.

  • It was a successful doc's group, but in reality it was riddled with fraud.

  • Behind a clean facade, criminals were at work.

  • Former CEO Markus Braun is currently in custody.

  • X Asia board member Yanmar Zoellick is a fugitive wire card, was once an electronic payments service provider and even operated a bank in Germany.

  • But it turns out some sales were completely made up.

  • The balance sheet showed a €1.9 billion hole.

  • Since then, public prosecutors began investigating the company on commercial fraud and document falsification charges.

  • There had been rumors for years.

  • Media outlets repeatedly reported inconsistencies, but each year the E Y auditing firm gave wire card a seal of approval.

  • The German financial regulator, Boffin didn't investigate the allegations either quite the opposite.

  • Journalists who reported on fraudulent dealings at wire card received complaints.

  • Since October, a parliamentary investigative committee has been scrutinizing the role of the authorities in this scandal.

  • But one thing is certain.

  • Germany's financial supervisors are ready for reforms.

  • One of the heads of this inquiry committee is Fabio de Masi.

  • He's a member of the German Parliament, the Bundestag, for the Left Party, and he joins me now.

  • Welcome to D.

  • W.

  • Fabia.

  • What is your most important finding in this investigation so far?

  • Mhm.

  • Well, our most important finding is that multiple state agencies failed to do the job properly while there were individuals that had warned those agencies.

  • So there was a kind of collective attitude to close close eyes.

  • And we also found that the German government was quite active, actually in China, in the context of the German Chinese financial dialogue to lobby for wire card.

  • A lot of political personalities had been lobbying for wire card and just to give you one example, some of the supervisors that were supposed to, uh, ask tough questions on wire cut.

  • We're actually trading in wire car chairs instead of doing their job So do you think that is one of the biggest problems here that state actors have been financially involved?

  • Uh, when when owning, uh, wire car.

  • Cheers.

  • Well, that's part of the story that some people in the supervision agencies were trading in those stocks and that we didn't have proper rules in Germany in place to prevent this kind of insider trading, for example, in the financial supervision authority.

  • But on the other hand, we know that all those decisions that have been taken like the short selling ban on wire cut were approved by the ministry or at least have been notified in the German Ministry of Finance.

  • So there's also the question on political responsibilities.

  • And it was Chancellor Merkel who indeed lobbied the most powerful man in China for wire card.

  • And you do not simply go to China just because her former economic minister, Gutenberg, who was a lobbyist for wire cut, told her so.

  • But this was a decision that have been taken in the German government because, like wire cut was one of the key assets in the German Chinese financial dialogue.

  • And so, uh, the German government has to answer why they did not react to the reporting of the Financial Times.

  • So this report or the scandal rather has moved Germany's federal financial watchdog into the crosshairs.

  • It has a staff of 2700 but reportedly they're only five people who are licensed auditors.

  • Do you see signs that the overhaul of the watchdog as a result of the scandal are going into the right direction?

  • Well, we have some minor improvements now, For example, we had a two t approach.

  • So first we had a kind of like privately governed organization that was supposed to check balance sheets.

  • And they had also multiple conflict of interests.

  • But for example, the so called DPR, which comes prior to the financial supervision watchdog buff in when it comes to checking the accuracy of balance sheets, they actually asked even why occur to equip them with arguments, why they should not investigate fraud so you could see a lot of collusion of interests here.

  • But indeed, the problem is the primary problem is that the German Financial Supervision Authority only has those five people who are even able to to audit companies, and that's insane.

  • That's like if the German police would basically go to the Formula One or two the October fast and Guevara and tell them to examine, You know, like alcohol controls on German roads.

  • Uh, that's that's not possible.

  • And so you need, uh, state agency that is able to do its job.

  • It needs the best people in the market, and it needs tough people who ask the right questions.

  • Democracy member of the parliamentary inquiry committee into the wire card scandal.

  • Thank you for your thoughts.

fraud, falsifying financial documents and money laundering.

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Wirecard scandal: How fraudsters built a financial giant | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/10
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