The trustee of bankrupt payment processor Wirecard from Germany has initiated a lawsuit against Ernst & Young (EY). The accounting firm is accused of defects in auditing processes.
EY accountants were responsible for auditing Wirecard's annual figures. The coordinator accuses them of long-term systemic flaws in controls and demands compensation of 1.5 billion euros.
The complaint relates to annual audits from 2015 to 2019. “The defendant repeatedly, seriously and willfully violated his contractual and legal obligations as an accountant,” court papers said.
The case relates to the so-called Wirecard scandal. The company began processing credit card payments in 1999 and has grown to become one of the most valuable companies on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. But the company collapsed and its former top executives were put on trial.
According to the curator, the damage could have been prevented
Since 2019 he has written for the business newspaper Financial Times About accounting irregularities at Wirecard. A year later, accountants also found evidence of manipulation of the numbers.
The company went bankrupt in 2020 when it became clear that it had lost nearly €2 billion on the balance sheet.
“If the matters had been properly investigated, the Wirecard case could have been discovered at an earlier stage, the harmful actions of the officials would have stopped there and the resulting damage could have been prevented,” the complaint against accounting firm EY said.
The coordinator and EY did not want to respond to the German news agency Data Protection Department.
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