Singapore Man Gets More Charges in $1.5 Billion Wirecard Fraud

A Singapore businessman faces fresh accusations that he falsely claimed to look after money for Wirecard AG, taking the amount covered by a series of charges to 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion), equivalent to more than half of the cash missing from the disgraced German payments company.

R. Shanmugaratnam, a director of Citadelle Corporate Services Pte, was charged with three counts of falsifying letters from Citadelle erroneously representing that the Singapore accounting firm held certain amounts of cash in escrow accounts.

The additional allegations concern 377.5 million euros in total, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg News. They bring the total number of charges to 14, adding up to about 1.2 billion euros in cash, calculations show. The acts took place during 2016 through 2018, according to official documents.

Shanmugaratnam is the first person to be indicted in the city-state over the spectacular collapse of Wirecard. His lawyer wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Wirecard filed for bankruptcy in June after acknowledging that 1.9 billion euros it had listed as assets didn’t exist, triggering a global investigation. Singapore is home to Wirecard’s Asia-Pacific headquarters and the company had been expanding aggressively in the region, which accounted for almost 45% of its reported revenue in 2018, second only to Europe.

In September, the Monetary Authority of Singapore ordered Wirecard’s local entities to cease their payment activities and return all customer funds in the following month.

In the city state, the fintech firm is facing probes by MAS, the local accounting authority and the police’s financial-crime unit. Last year, Singapore police raided Wirecard’s local offices after an employee alleged that a member of the company’s finance team engaged in accounting breaches.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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