Schirp calls for Wirecard audit on behalf of shareholders

The legal firm believes a special audit is necessary to investigate recent allegations of fraud.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Schirp & Partner has called for a "special" audit into the inner workings of Wirecard on the basis of recent allegations concerning misleading accounting and fraud.

The law firm is making the case on behalf of a small group of shareholders, as reported by Reuters

Lawyer Wolfgang Schirp told the publication that "we want to clarify as quickly as possible what is happening at Wirecard."

Special auditors would be able to examine the inner workings of the German financial services company, Schirp says, as well as investigate partnerships across country borders. In order to have such a request accepted, shareholders representing a minimum of five percent to agree. 

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The lawyer says that at present, a pool of shareholders representing 2.5 percent has backed the call. 

Allegations of fraud and suspicious accountancy practices have haunted Wirecard since a report was published by the Financial Times based on documents, claimed to be internal, that appeared to indicate "a concerted effort to fraudulently inflate sales and profits at Wirecard businesses in Dubai and Ireland, as well as to potentially mislead EY, Wirecard's tier-one auditor," according to the news outlet. 

Wirecard has "questionable accounting practices," the report alleges. EY has previously passed Wirecard's business and accountancy practices as legitimate.  

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Wirecard claims the report is based on "fabricated documents" and has sued the publication, which stands by its report. 

Thomas Eichelmann has recently taken over as the new chairman of Wirecard following the resignation of Wulf Matthias for "personal reasons" with immediate effect. According to the Financial Times, Eichelmann has been pushing for an independent audit and review into the company's accountancy practices. 

KPMG has also been hired to audit Wirecard and a report is expected by Q1 2020. The results of the audit will be reported to Wirecard's board.   

ZDNet has reached out to Wirecard and will update when we hear back. 

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