The former flagship of German digital payments collapsed in June 2020 when its executives admitted that there were in fact no assets of 1.9 billion euros.
German court annulled the accounts of the former fintech Wirecard, exposing shareholders who had already been deceived by the fraudulent bankruptcy of this digital payment company to have the return of the dividends they received for 2017 and 2018. The Munich District Court (south ) said the “invalidity of the annual financial statements of Wirecard AG as at 31 December 2017 and 31 December 2018 as well as the decisions for the distribution of the profits of the general meetingswhich emerged from it, according to a statement released on Thursday. Clearly, justice cancels the dividends they receive in connection with these exercises from shareholders, investors and small shareholders, based on the registered profits.
The Munich company, Germany’s former digital payments flagship, collapsed in June 2020 when its executives admitted that 1.9 billion euros in assets, a quarter of the size of the balance sheet, did not actually exist. Wirecard paid a dividend of 0.20 euro cents per share in 2019, for the year ended December 2018, and 0.18 euro cents in 2018, for the year 2017, according to annual reports consulted by AFP. This represented a total cash outflow of close to € 50 million, € 24.7 million in 2019 and € 22.2 million in 2018.
The court ruled in favor of Wirecard’s legal administrator, who claimed the cancellation of the two balance sheets examined, claiming that a massive accounting fraud had taken place to inflate the company’s balance sheets. The decision refers to a “overestimation»Assets representing about 40% of the size of the respective balance sheets, ie almost 1.9 billion euros in 2017 and just over 2.3 billion euros in 2018. The scandal revealed that part of the products recognized as payment services did not come from by Wirecard but by third parties due to lack of their own licenses or because these third parties engaged in high-risk activities such as pornography or gambling.
Founded in early 2000, Wirecard has been a fast-growing and highly successful company for years, even succeeding in entering the Dax 30, the icing on the cake of German stock market. His bankruptcy shook the financial center, splashing the passage of EY auditors who had certified the accounts and supervisor Bafin who had not seen anything coming. Former Wirecard CEO Marcus Brown is set to appear in criminal court shortly as investigations continue to locate his right-hand man, Jan Marsalek, who has been on the run since 2020.
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