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

dhita yudha

By John O’Donnell

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German authorities pressed on for four years investigating investors who bet against Wirecard AG’s shares, even after a UK regulator concluded that their evidence against the short sellers was “not sufficient,” according to documents and people familiar with the matter.

With encouragement from Wirecard’s lawyers and despite red flags about the company, financial markets watchdog Bafin and Bavarian state prosecutors in Munich moved swiftly against short sellers after a February 2016 research report alleged fraud and money-laundering at Wirecard, according to confidential documents related to the probe.

The documents, which include hundreds of pages of investigative reports, correspondence and other memos, have not been previously reported. While it is known that German authorities investigated skeptical investors who raised questions about the company behind one of the biggest corporate frauds in German history, the documents provide new details about the speed and tenacity with which

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