Wirecard Draws German Scrutiny on Insider Trading Suspicion

German financial markets regulator BaFin has asked Munich prosecutors to probe possible insider trading in Wirecard AG shares before the company’s collapse last month, according to a BaFin spokeswoman.

Eight days before Wirecard’s share price slump, an individual posted in an online forum that auditor EY wouldn’t be able to sign off completely on its accounts on June 18, Handelsblatt reported earlier. This was because Wirecard couldn’t explain certain funds, the newspaper said.

Munich prosecutors said they are investigating several potential crimes, according to Handelsblatt. The prosecutors weren’t immediately available to comment when Bloomberg called on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Wirecard declined to comment.

Wirecard shares plunged 62% on June 18, one of the steepest declines on record for a company listed on Germany’s benchmark DAX Index. The following week the payments firm filed for insolvency after saying that 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) -- or a quarter of its balance sheet -- probably doesn’t exist

That marked a stunning decline for a company that embodied Germany’s hopes of producing a technology champion that was valued at 24.6 billion euros in September 2018, when it replaced Commerzbank AG in the DAX.

Wirecard has lost 98% of its value this year, generating windfalls for investors who took so-called short positions to bet against the stock.

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