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Singapore charges Citadelle director with falsifying letters related to Wirecard

Singapore charges Citadelle director with falsifying letters related to Wirecard

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Wirecard is seen on a booth at the computer games fair Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, Aug 22, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo)

SINGAPORE: Singapore has charged a director of Citadelle Corporate Services for falsifying letters related to Wirecard, the collapsed German payments firm.

R Shanmugaratnam was charged with "wilfully and with intent to defraud" falsifying letters from Citadelle to Wirecard representing that it held money in escrow accounts, though the accounts did not hold such balances, according to charge sheets filed by Singapore authorities on Jul 3.

READ: The rise and fall of Wirecard

READ: The man who led Wirecard into insolvency

Shanmugaratnam had fraudulently said in March 2016 that €47 million (S$76.2 million), €66.4 million and €30 million were held by Citadelle in escrow accounts as of Dec 31, 2015, according to three charge sheets.

He also falsely said in March 2017 that there was a balance of €177.5 million in an escrow account on Dec 31, 2016, according to the fourth charge sheet.

Citadelle, a business administration company, is at the heart of an investigation in the Philippines that exposed fraudulent activity at Wirecard.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Shanmugaratnam, a 54-year-old Singapore citizen, for comment.

Munich-based Wirecard collapsed in June after its auditor EY refused to sign off on its 2019 accounts because it could not verify €1.9 billion supposedly held abroad in escrow by third-party partners.

READ: Germany’s long, lonely campaign: Battling Wirecard’s short sellers

READ: Wirecard scandal brings overhaul of EU fintech rules into sharper focus

Wirecard had initially claimed that a missing US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) had been kept in two Philippine banks, which the banks said was not true.

A Filipino lawyer embroiled in the fraud told Reuters he was framed and that he opened six euro bank accounts in the name of his law firm on behalf of Citadelle.

Authorities in the Philippines said on Thursday that they were seeking to confirm the death of a former Wirecard executive Christopher Bauer, one of several people being investigated over fraud at the firm. 

Source: Reuters/ic


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