Ex-CEO of Wirecard arrested in case over missing billions

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BERLIN (AP) –

The former CEO of German payment service provider Wirecard has been arrested in an accounting scandal that centers on a missing sum of 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion), prosecutors in Munich said Tuesday.

Markus Braun resigned on Friday after the company disclosed that auditors couldn’t find accounts containing the money.

On Monday, Wirecard said it has concluded that the money probably doesn’t exist.

Wirecard AG was once regarded as a star of the growing financial technology sector, but its shares have fallen sharply after the company became the subject of multiple Financial Times reports about accounting irregularities in its Asian operations. Wirecard disputed the reports, which started in February 2019, and said it was the victim of speculators.

Last week, the company disclosed that auditors couldn’t find accounts containing the 1.9 billion euros and postponed its annual report. On Friday, Braun resigned and was replaced by James Freis.

In this Friday June 19, 2020 photo, the Wirecard pictured at the headquarters of the payment service provider in Aschheim, Germany. Germany payment service provider Wirecard AG says it has concluded that two accounts that were supposed to contain 1.9 billion euros (2.1 billion dollars) probably don’t exist. (Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP)
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