02 Dec 2020
Gardaí are investigating an alleged €400 million fraud at electronic payments company Wirecard’s Irish arm, the High Court heard on Monday.
The firm, which has its headquarters in Germany, reported in June that €1.9 billion was missing from its accounts, prompting an inquiry that led to the arrest of several group executives.
The High Court in Dublin yesterday confirmed the appointment of Ken Fennell and James Anderson of Deloitte as liquidators to Wirecard UK and Ireland Ltd, the German group’s Irish-registered and based subsidiary. They were appointed as provisional liquidators on October 28th.
Mr Fennell and Mr Anderson submitted a report to the court, showing that the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau was investigating whether a Wirecard UK and Ireland escrow account holding up to €405.3 million actually existed.
The account was included in the company’s assets, but the liquidators stated that its value was zero.
Their report shows that the account was meant to have held more than €393 million, with a further €11.8 million due to be lodged to it. “The existence of these funds is under investigation,” Mr Fennell and Mr Anderson noted.
Their submission shows that a report from Wirecard UK and Ireland Ltd itself to the Garda bureau sparked the investigation.
The company’s report to the Garda concluded that the escrow account never existed. It also stated that a €40 million loan, which the German parent instructed Wirecard UK and Ireland to advance to a business called Ruprecht in December 2019, was fraudulent.
According to the liquidators, the insolvency administrator, lawyer Michael Jaffé, appointed to Wirecard Group in Germany in August, has also questioned whether the cash in the escrow account ever existed.
Wirecard UK and Ireland’s directors resolved to ask the courts to appoint liquidators to the company once they realised these difficulties would leave it unable to pay its debts.
By Barry O’Halloran, The Irish Times, 1 December 2020
Read more at The Irish Times
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