Philippines files criminal complaint against scam-hit payment firm Wirecard’s ex-COO

Two Wirecard AG branded red cubes rest between computer cables in this arranged photograph at the Wirecard headquarters in Munich, Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. Photographer: Matthias Doering/Bloomberg

Philippine authorities investigating the multi-billion dollar fraud at Germany’s Wirecard AG’s have filed criminal complaints against the payment firm’s former chief operating officer as well as others.

Wirecard collapsed last June, owing creditors almost $4 billion, accused by its auditor of a sophisticated global fraud. At one point, it claimed it kept more than $2 billion in two Philippine banks — claims that the Southeast Asian nation’s central bank and the lenders have denied.

Philippines Justice Minister Menardo Guevarra said via text message on Saturday that complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation on May 31 accused the respondents of violating banking, cybercrime, and e-commerce laws as well as falsifying commercial documents.

In addition to Wirecard‘s former COO Jan Marsalek, Gueverra said complaints were also filed against the M. Tolentino Law Office as well as against other entities that he did not name.

The whereabouts of Marsalek, who was fired after auditor EY refused to sign off on Wirecard‘s accounts, are unknown and Reuters could not immediately reach him for comment.

Mark Tolentino, whose law firm was used by Wirecard to open foreign currency bank accounts with BDO Unibank Inc and Bank of the Philippine Islands, did not respond to requests for comment.

The unraveling of Wirecard, once one of the hottest fintech companies in Europe, has prompted EU financial authorities to propose stricter rules next year for company financial reporting and auditors.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.