‘The Enron of Europe’ — What We Know So Far About the Wirecard Scandal

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A new video takes viewers through German financial technology company Wirecard’s journey from being one of the top businesses in the world to one who’s shares plummeted by more than 98% before filing for insolvency.  

In an Aug. 6 video posted to YouTube by ColdFusion, Australian host Dagogo Altraide retells the story of how the Wirecard scandal began when auditors were unable to locate more than $2 billion that was supposed to be sitting in the FinTech firm’s Philippines-based accounts. The Wirecard board later admitted that the funds likely did not exist.

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“This was a tale of liars, accounting manipulation, hacking attacks on journalists, an arrested former CEO and a missing executive,” Altraide narrated, referring to the company as “the Enron of Europe.” 

Wirecard’s fall from grace

Many major crypto-powered debit cards were under Wirecard’s management when news of the missing $2.1 billion broke on June 18. Former CEO Markus Braun was arrested in Germany on June 23 for misrepresenting the company’s balances, and the payment processor ended up filing for insolvency two days later.

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority initially suspended the license of a Wirecard subsidiary in the country, but this was lifted after just three days, allowing customers to use their Visa crypto debit cards.

Case still ongoing

Despite Braun’s arrest and the firm in administration, not all loose ends in the Wirecard scandal have been so well tied off. 

Chief operating officer Jan Marsalek is reportedly hiding out in Russia, financing his fugitive status with Bitcoin (BTC) he was able to transfer from Dubai.

In addition, a Mastercard executive at the FBME bank in Cyprus has recently been implicated in covering up money laundering connected with Wirecard.