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GERMANY WIRECARD


Wirecard fiasco


ensnares gaming FinTech Meltdown


The public prosecutor’s office in Germany is currently investigating Dax-listed FinTech giant, Wirecard, after it filed for insolvency on June 25. The company currently stands accused of a very broad list of offences, including: commercial fraud, balance sheet forgery, market manipulation, embezzlement of assets and money laundering.


Te claim that Wirecard faked transactions worth billions to artificially inflate its balance


sheet, sales revenues and share price, enabling the company to obtain loans of €3bn, has led investors to believe their money is now lost. Tere is also the suspicion that millions were


stolen through sham transactions with partner companies and that Wirecard was involved in international money laundering on a massive scale.


Such is the scope of Wirecard's business that it was only a matter of time before stories began to link the FinTech giant with gambling-related businesses to increase the intensity of the scandal. Te latest news to hit the headlines concerns the processing of payments for the Malta-based gaming company, CenturionBet, which was shuttered in 2017 for laundering money for Italy's Ndrangheta crime organisation.


Wirecard continued to do business with CenturionBet, which was incorporated in Malta but owned by a Panamanian shell company, until 2017 when its gambling licence was suspended by Maltese authorities. CenturionBet ceased trading after an anti-mafia raid saw 68 people arrested. Since then more than 30 people have been sentenced for mafia-related crimes linked to the case.


Te scale of the financial and political intrigue P34 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA


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