Law firm Schirp calls for special audit of Wirecard

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Law firm Schirp called on Monday for a special audit of German payments company Wirecard, which is facing allegations of fraud and false accounting, on behalf of a small group of shareholders.

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Wirecard was hit a year ago by allegations in the Financial Times (FT) that its Singapore office made fake book-keeping entries to pad its revenues.

In-house auditor EY investigated those claims and gave Wirecard management a clean bill of health. The company denied the allegations and sued the FT, which stands by its reporting.

Thomas Eichelmann, the board member overseeing an outside audit of Wirecard, has been elected as chairman after Wulf Matthias, 75, resigned for personal reasons, Wirecard said in statement on Friday.

“We want to clarify as quickly as possible what is happening at Wirecard,” lawyer Wolfgang Schirp told Reuters.

He said a special auditor would look into the balance sheets of partner companies in places like Dubai and Singapore and investigate the allegations of accounting fraud.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung first reported on the law firm’s plans.

No one was immediately available for comment at Wirecard.

Schirp wants to call an extraordinary general meeting to push ahead with a special audit. That would require shareholders representing 5% of the share capital to back the request. He has said that he currently represents 2.5% of the shares.

Last year Wirecard brought in KPMG to investigate allegations by the FT. KPMG is expected to complete its work before the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Reporting by Patricia Uhlig; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Thomas Seythal and Mark Potter