Michael Jaffé has tried to trace the disappearance of €1.9 billion at Wirecard. He found no evidence of corresponding transactions. In a status report, he comes to a clear conclusion. According to new findings by insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé, Wirecard’s business with alleged partners in Asia was wholly fabricated.
According to Jaffé’s fifth status report to the Munich district court, the relevant suspicions have been corroborated over the past six months, made available to the Reuters news agency on Monday. “The available account statements have confirmed what was already apparent from numerous indications: the alleged fiduciary funds and the (…) TPA business with billions in earnings did not exist at Wirecard in 2018 or 2019 or in previous years. On the contrary, all further investigations have confirmed this was not the case.”
The investigation into the third-party acquirer (TPA) business, which recently accounted for a large portion of Wirecard’s revenues and profits, is “largely complete,” the report said. Jaffé had taken legal action to force the release of account statements at OCBC Bank in Singapore. Their accounts were supposed to have held the alleged billions in proceeds from the TPA deal until the end of 2019 – before they were allegedly transferred to Indonesia. “It has been proven that Wirecard’s alleged trust funds never existed at OCBC Bank at any time.” The trustee had only maintained some expense accounts there, he said.
Wirecard collapsed three years ago after 1.9 billion euros from its business with customers in Asia, which were supposed to be in escrow accounts, turned out to be non-existent. CEO Markus Braun and two other top managers are on trial for gang fraud and misleading the capital markets. Braun’s claim in court that the business existed at Wirecard but that the funds were diverted by unknown parties is also refuted by Jaffé following his investigations.
There was “not a single piece of evidence” for such a “TPA shadow realm”.
It was inconceivable that a transaction of this magnitude would not have left any traces in the company’s data. In 2019, Wirecard said it had processed transactions worth around 51 billion euros with its partners. No Wirecard employee had confirmed that merchants had been referred to a partner, and none of the alleged partners had complained or even contacted the company after the insolvency. Meanwhile, it had also been proven that many documents had been falsified. “Original receipts for real transactions (…) are not available at all – neither forged nor real.”
Jaffé assumes Wirecard was bankrupt well before filing for insolvency, given the sales and profits that were only feigned. He could thus also hold Braun and other ex-managers liable for delaying bankruptcy. He said an auditing firm’s investigations into the matter have been completed. “Their findings will support the assertion of claims,” the insolvency administrator’s report says.