Germany’s BaFin audits Wirecard accounts from 2017 to 2019

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Wirecard AG is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin said on Tuesday it was conducting an audit of the accounts for collapsed payments firm Wirecard <WDIG.DE> covering a period running from 2017 to 2019.

The outcome of the review may provide ammunition for prosecutors who suspect Wirecard executives of masterminding a criminal racket to fake the company’s accounts and bilk creditors of billions of euros.

Former executives under investigation have denied any wrongdoing.

BaFin said it was conducting the audit after the nation’s account watchdog, the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP), informed BaFin that Wirecard refused to accept an error it had found or cooperate with the watchdog.

That information from FREP gives BaFin, which is under scrutiny for not identifying issues with Wirecard sooner, the authority to conduct the audit, which covers the years 2017 and 2018 and the first half of 2019.

(Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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