Markus Braun turned himself in on Monday after the company disclosed it couldn’t account for a US$2.1-billion hole on its balance sheet that auditor KPMG flagged. Braun is accused of “inflating Wirecard AG’s sales volume with fake income.” The arrest came three days after Braun resigned as CEO of the German financial-services firm after almost two decades at the helm. (The Wall Street Journal)
Talking point: Braun’s resignation and subsequent arrest follow years of allegations that Wirecard was inflating sales and profits to make it more attractive to investors and prospective customers. It had become one of Germany’s most promising tech companies, attracting US$1 billion from SoftBank last year, even as short sellers and reporters unearthed potential fraud within the company—allegations the firm vehemently denied. Following Braun’s resignation on Friday, the company fired COO Jan Marsalek this week. Wirecard’s valuation, once as high as US$27 billion, hit US$1.8 billion on Tuesday.