Adam Traidman is CEO of , a mobile cryptocurrency wallet.
If a global company can successfully hide billions of dollars overnight, we have a problem. If it is rigorously audited by a leading accounting firm, and regulated by one of the most thorough regulatory agencies in the world, yet still manages to cover up the disappearance of billions of dollars, then we have an even bigger problem. I am of course talking about the glaring that thrust the balance sheets of German-based card issuer Wirecard into the spotlight in recent weeks – uncovering some and a pertaining to financial record-keeping.
How could a globally recognized company get away with $2.1 billion worth of fraud for so long? To put it bluntly, this is a case of a largely legitimate public-facing business fronting for shrewd money laundering operations. Hiding in plain sight, as it were.
The Wirecard scandal highlights how an optically upstanding and regulatory compliant company can divulge certain strands of information, while tactically omitting crucial details, allowing it to navigate tight regulatory and audit constraints. The fraud seems to have been enabled by an expansive network of subsidiaries, and a convoluted corporate structure.