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German payments company Wirecard appears to have just made up or otherwise invented $2 billion it pretended to have in the bank, along with some fake revenue for good measure. There’s not much good that can be said for $2 billion that isn’t there except in the minds of those under arrest or on the lam, but one thing that can be said of money that does not exist is that it cannot be laundered. The same, it seems, perhaps cannot be said for the actual money that at one time or another passed through Wirecard’s hands.

A spokeswoman for the Munich public prosecutor said it was conducting several legal cases related to possible money laundering at Wirecard, the oldest dating as far back as 2010…. While the prosecutors’ spokeswoman didn’t mention any specific cases of possible money laundering by Wirecard officials, there are at least two in the U.S. involving the company that have popped up over the years…. An investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into a German national living in Florida found he appeared to be operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business for payouts of illegal profits from gambling in online casinos. Documents seen by The Wall Street Journal showed Wirecard’s banking business was involved in the transference of some of the money…. In late 2015, German prosecutors also raided Wirecard at the request of U.S. authorities who were investigating money laundering, according to the Munich prosecutor’s spokeswoman.

Still, you know, hope springs eternal.

The company’s stock plunged after the scandal came to light in mid-June, freefalling from 104.50 euros per share ($117.26) on June 17 to 1.28 euros per share on June 26./However, last week the company vowed to continue business operations despite the insolvency and stated that “numerous interested parties worldwide have already expressed their interest in acquiring business units.” Its shares rallied to close at 5.73 euros per share last Tuesday after the release…. As Wirecard’s administrator this week began dismantling the company’s assets for sale, those still invested in Wirecard will be hoping that the sale of these intangibles could reap rewards.

Germany Probes Possible Money Laundering by Wirecard Executives [WSJ]
Why some investors are holding onto Wirecard shares even after insolvency [CNBC]



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Appropriate money-laundering site. Saif Gill [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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