Wirecard’s former top accountant admits forging documents

Fabricated payment authorisation was an isolated event, Stephan von Erffa said

Wirecard’s ex-head of accounting has admitted to forging documents requested by KPMG during a special audit, ahead of a trial that is set for later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Wirecard crashed into insolvency in June 2020 after admitting that half of its stated revenues and €1.9 billion of corporate cash purportedly held in escrow accounts in Asia did not exist.

Mr Von Erffa is one of three Wirecard executives who were charged with fraud, breach of trust and market manipulation this year.

He denied any involvement in the wider fraud. However, the police investigation found evidence that Mr von Erffa in early 2020 forged documents that were then shared with auditors at KPMG and EY.

The documents were linked to a €50 million payment that Wirecard had received in 2018, purportedly from one of the Asian escrow accounts and wired by a trustee at Mr von Erffa’s behest.

KPMG’s forensic investigators wanted to see Mr von Erffa’s payment authorisation for the €50 million transfer. As no such document existed, the top accountant decided to fabricate one, he told prosecutors, according to people familiar with the matter. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022