Former German blue-chip Wirecard has said a quarter of its total balance sheet is missing after “spurious cash balances” were provided to its auditor, EY.
In an Thursday, the Munich-based card issuer, said a total of €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) could not be accounted for and that some members of the company had purposefully filed false or misleading statements “in order to deceive the auditor and create a wrong perception of the existence of such cash balances.”
Wirecard admitted the accounting hole was roughly a quarter of the company’s total balance sheet.
A former poster child of the German tech scene, Wirecard has been heavily scrutinized over supposed irregularities in its accounting practices. The company was accused last year of sales and profit figures, and that it was using client funds held in escrow accounts to
Wirecard’s share price has tanked. At press time, shares traded at the €36 (~$40) mark, down 70% since Wednesday. The credit card issuer had once been one of Germany’s most prestigious companies, even surpassing Commerzbank with a €24.6 billion( ~$27.6 billion) market valuation in September 2018.
Lionel Barber, former editor-in-chief of the Financial Times, that Wirecard was turning into a German version of the .