BaFin Found “Not Liable” For Wirecard Investors By Frankfurt District Court
A court has absolved German financial regulator BaFin from liability in the Wirecard fraud, according to a ruling this week by the Frankfurt District Court.
The court ruled that BaFin performed its duties “exclusively in the public interest, not in the interest of individual investors,” meaning they couldn’t be held liable by individual investors in Wirecard for their role in the company’s collapse, Bloomberg wrote in a Wednesday morning wrap up.
The company’s deep ties to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition are only just beginning to be explored, we wrote last year.
Recall, in early 2021, we noted that Olaf Scholz, Angela Merkel’s finance minister, sacked BaFin chief Felix Hufeld, the head of the financial watchdog, amid a torrent of criticism that Hufeld deliberately ignored warnings about fraud at Wirecard from myriad sources, choosing instead to angrily pursue both journalists and short-sellers (the agency sued two FT reporters while briefly prohibiting short-selling in the company’s shares).
The investigation into the FT reporters wasn’t brought to a close until two months after two months after Wirecard’s bankruptcy filing.
Wirecard shares collapsed in 2020 after KPMG published a special audit confirming that a $2BN hole had been blown by its balance sheet, as executives for the company – one of whom is believed to be an FSB spy – reportedly made up 2/3rds of Wirecard’s business. It has also been shown that much of the missing money had been looted by executives in the week or so before the KPMG report was published.
Media reports claimed that Hufeld had discussed with Scholz the possibility that Wirecard may have been the victim of an elaborate plot organized by nefarious short sellers. But in the end, Hufeld couldn’t substantiate any of it, and after a brief “conversation” with Scholz last year, the former BaFin had agreed to go quietly.
Thu, 01/20/2022 – 04:15
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