Former Wirecard chief Markus Braun has been arrested on charges of accounting fraud, the prosecutor of the German city of Munich reports Tuesday. He is suspected of having polished up both turnover figures and the balance sheet, in order to appear more attractive to customers and investors.
Braun volunteered to report to a police station on Monday, the prosecutor writes. He will be brought on Tuesday, after which a judge will determine whether he should be detained longer.
The former CEO resigned from Wirecard on Friday after eighteen years, after accountancy firm EY could not give the green light for the publication of the 2019 annual report on Thursday. The audit firm could not approve the annual report, because there was 1.9 billion euros on the balance sheet that EY couldn't explain. The amount represents a quarter of the total assets of the payment service.
The public prosecutor says that the investigation focuses mainly on the small 2 billion euros. This amount would have been placed with two Philippine banks, but Wirecard already announced on Monday that the 1.9 billion probably never existed.
It was not the first time that Adyen's German competitor made headlines due to financial impropriety led by Braun. A year and a half ago, Financial Times s ( FT ) revealed that documents had been falsified in order to trick accountants. Wirecard has always stood tooth and nail against FT 's accusations .