Wirecard: German Parliament slams Scholz and Merkel
Reuters, 07 June 2021
A committee of lawmakers in the Bundestag has published its inquiry into the Wirecard fraud affair. The damaging report comes months before Germany’s general election.
The public inquiry into the Wirecard scandal published its concluding report on Monday, criticizing Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The parliamentary committee consisting of opposition lawmakers ended a monthslong investigation into the scandal with the publication of a 675-page draft report. Continue reading “Article: Wirecard: German Parliament slams Scholz and Merkel”
N26 faces BaFin scrutiny over money laundering failures
Finextra, 12 May 2021
German financial regulator BaFin has ordered mobile bank N26 to fix problems with its IT monitoring and customer due diligence to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
The watchdog is appointing a special commissioner to monitor the fintech giant’s compliance with the order to implement appropriate internal controls and safeguards and comply with general due diligence requirements.
N26 has also been told to ensure that it has the adequate personnel, technical and organisational resources to comply with its obligations under anti-money laundering law.The order comes two years after BaFin first reprimanded N26 for lax anti-money laundering controls.
It also comes as BaFin tightens up oversight in the wake of the Wirecard scandal, which cost the regulator’s head, Felix Hufeld, his job. N26 says that online criminal activity has soared around the world since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and that it is working closely with the appointed commissioner.
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What The Boom In Fraud Says About The Current Market Environment, Part 2
TYLER DURDEN, 01 May 2021
Just about three months ago, I wrote a blog post which featured this quote, from Charles P. Kindleberger’s Manias, Panics and Crashes: “Swindles are a response to the appetite for wealth (or plain greed) stimulated by the boom.” Since then, the number of frauds, or swindles, that has been revealed has soared, a clear testament to both the breadth and degree of greed inspired by the current boom.
Most recently, we saw the collapse of Greensill Capital as the result of fraud. Like WireCard, Greensill was a relatively young finance company looking to disrupt its more mature competitors which took a few (illegal) short cuts in the process. Continue reading “Article: What The Boom In Fraud Says About The Current Market Environment, Part 2”
Opinion: Wirecard fraud shows it’s time to regulate the regulators
Kate Ferguson, 29 April 2021
What would you do if you were confident you could get away with it? Perhaps you’d rob a bank, or have a wild affair. Or maybe you’d subsist on nothing but candy floss for the rest of your life.
The chances are you won’t, though. The risk of being arrested, destroying your marriage or becoming a diabetic are simply too high. For most of us, the question is destined to remain hypothetical. After all, life has taught us that bad behavior does not generally go unpunished.
Generally doesn’t mean always
There are notable exceptions to the rule, though. In recent years, three major scandals in Germany have provided pleasingly concrete answers to the question. Continue reading “Article: Opinion: Wirecard fraud shows it’s time to regulate the regulators”
Angela Merkel defends lobbying for disgraced Wirecard
Ben Knight, 23 April 2021
The German chancellor has appeared at a parliamentary inquiry to defend her decision to lobby on behalf of the disgraced banking firm Wirecard in China. The scandal is one of Germany’s biggest ever fraud cases.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the German Bundestag that there was no reason to believe that Wirecard was committing fraud in 2019, when she lobbied on behalf of the now insolvent Bavarian company during an official trip to China.
“Despite the press reports, there was no reason to assume there were serious irregularities at Wirecard at the time,” she told a parliamentary inquiry during a hearing on Friday. Continue reading “Article: Angela Merkel defends lobbying for disgraced Wirecard”
The ex-convict’s tale: Germany’s role in Wirecard scandal under microscope
John O’donnell, Tom Sims, 23 April 2021
In February 2019, after a steep drop in Wirecard’s share price, German authorities launched criminal probes into short-sellers and journalists who had accused the company of fraud, and banned investors from betting against the company.
Documents seen by Reuters show for the first time that the only independent information – beyond Wirecard’s representations – received by Munich prosecutors who launched the criminal probes was a third-hand account of events from a convicted money launderer, Daniel James Harris.
The rationale that led to the decisions of prosecutors and regulators to launch the criminal probes and short-selling ban, and whether they were overzealous in supporting Wirecard, are central issues being investigated by a parliamentary inquiry into the company’s collapse in Germany’s biggest post-war fraud scandal. Continue reading “Article: The ex-convict’s tale: Germany’s role in Wirecard scandal under microscope”
DOJ’s New No. 3 Faces Delicate Balancing Act
Jack Queen, 21 April 2021
Vanita Gupta was fresh out of law school when she heard about what happened in Tulia, Texas. Two years earlier, in 1999, nearly half of the town’s adult Black population was rounded up in a drug sting on the word of a single undercover cop, accused of selling him small amounts of cocaine. Several convictions swiftly followed, accompanied by sentences of up to 361 years. The remaining defendants, 43 of whom were people of color, started pleading guilty.
Gupta, weeks into a job at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York, sensed something was amiss. She flew down to Texas, where families shared the humiliation of seeing loved ones marched through the streets handcuffed and half-clothed, with a local newspaper later declaring, “Tulia’s Streets Cleared of Garbage.” Documents in the Swisher County courthouse told a remarkable story as well. Gupta, then 26, stuffed a suitcase full of copies and flew back to New York to pitch her bosses. Continue reading “Article: DOJ’s New No. 3 Faces Delicate Balancing Act”
The Weird, Extremely German Origins of the Wirecard Scandal
Adrian Daub, 21 April 2021
German scandals are not like other scandals. The bouquet of a classic German scandal contains unmistakable notes: a rabbit-hole impenetrability, the implication of an entire guilt-ridden society, and, most importantly, a sense that the controversy says something essential about Germany as a whole. German scandals are collectivized. They are about a belief in German difference, for good or ill.
The rise and fall of the financial services giant Wirecard is such a scandal. Wirecard, whose products facilitated e-commerce payment transactions, was the rare German startup that seemed primed to become a “global player”—a phrase with special resonance in a country that, despite all evidence to the contrary, still perceives itself as being small-time. The company was founded in 1999, survived the dotcom-bubble, began a massive expansion into Asia in the middle of the financial crisis, and, later, began another expansion into the Middle East. Continue reading “Article: The Weird, Extremely German Origins of the Wirecard Scandal”
German Regulator Accuses Deutsche Bank Board Member Of Insider Trading Linked To Wirecard
TYLER DURDEN, 20 April 2021
For a minute there, it appeared that Credit Suisse might have snatched Deutsche Bank’s crown as the most dysfunctional bank in Europe as the Swiss lender struggled with the fallout from the Archegos blowup and the collapse of Greensill (a scandal that has set off a massive corruption scandal in the UK, and triggered renewed calls for regulatory reform in the European financial system). CS has announced billions of dollars worth of losses tied to the scandals, fired its head of risk and nearly half a dozen other senior employees, and taken other steps in an attempt at penance. But on Monday, Deutsche Bank, which seemingly can’t go more than couple of quarters without a scandal, has found itself in the headlines once again. Continue reading “Article: German Regulator Accuses Deutsche Bank Board Member Of Insider Trading Linked To Wirecard”
EU Watchdog Told To Crack Down After Wirecard Scandal
Najiyya Budaly, 01 March 2021
The European Union’s markets watchdog must improve its supervision of national regulators, a technical advice group said on Monday after it found that Germany’s largest post-war accounting fraud had laid bare deficiencies in the authority’s oversight of market abuse and auditing rules.
The Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group, which provides advice on policy development to the European Securities and Markets Authority, recommended that ESMA should improve protection for investors and ensure integrity in markets after an accounting scandal at Wirecard AG revealed gaps in its supervision. Continue reading “Article: EU Watchdog Told To Crack Down After Wirecard Scandal”
The Dark Money Secretly Bankrolling Activist Short-Sellers — and the Insiders Trying to Expose It
Institutional Investor, 30 November 2020
More than a dozen short-sellers interviewed by Institutional Investor in an effort to penetrate this murky terrain say there are numerous players and various permutations of the model that may involve the sharing of ideas and research along with either a cut of the gains on the short trade or a set fee. In fact, some short-sellers believe that almost all of the activists have such backing — even those running small hedge funds themselves.
Wirecard’s Former Billionaire CEO Markus Braun Arrested Over Allegations Of Fraud
Jack Kelly, 23 July 2020
On Monday, I reported that Markus Braun, the billionaire CEO of online payments company Wirecard, faced serious allegations over the company’s rapid growth and questionable business practices. Specifically, regulators and investors were concerned over claims that the FinTech company purported to have $2 billion dollars in a couple of Philippine banks. Investigations conducted by an outside auditor revealed that the money wasn’t there and possibly never existed. Continue reading “Article: Wirecard’s Former Billionaire CEO Markus Braun Arrested Over Allegations Of Fraud”
Founder & Chief Investment Officer at Safkhet Capital
Born in the USA to Bangladeshi parents. Left PhD track to do research at Deallus Consulting. Recruited by Michael Krensavage to be a short seller.
Central to the short selling of both Valeant and Wirecard. Has enjoyed a massive media elevation with no inquries into her connections to naked short sellers who destroyed both Valeant and Wirecard.
Comment: There is a new layer of naked short sellers and bashers on Wall Street that is connected to India, Pakistan, and Bangldesh. They are the new gang in town.
The woman shaking up Wall Street
Safi Thind, SquareMile, 7 February 2020
“Valeant had a certain reputation within the industry,” she says. “I knew it was already engaged in unethical, potentially fraudulent practice. Pharmaceuticals are a very established industry, when someone tries to disrupt it and post unusual numbers, there’s probably something wrong.”
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