A German law firm has opened a class action lawsuit against Big Four accountancy firm EY over the auditor’s role in the multi-billion-euro Wirecard scandal.
German law firm TILP said it had filed a lawsuit in a Munich court on behalf of Wirecard shareholders, over claims that EY breached its duty to investors by “aiding and abetting” Wirecard in filing “false annual reports”.
The lawsuit comes after former Wirecard chief Markus Braun was this week charged with fraud, breach of trust, and accounting manipulation, in relation to the collapse of the Bavarian fintech firm.
Wirecard filed for bankruptcy in 2020 after shares in the firm plummeted by 72 per cent following an announcement that €1.9bn in cash had gone “missing”.
Shareholder rights specialist TILP said it had opened the class action lawsuit on behalf of investors in Wirecard, as it claimed EY has “made itself liable for damages to the shareholders and bond buyers of Wirecard AG due to several breaches of duty.”
Speaking to City A.M. an EY spokesperson denied the firm is liable for damages as they argued the Munich courts decision to open the case is “legally incorrect” as audit work does not fall under the remit of Germany’s class action legislation.
“We continue to regard claims against EY Germany as unfounded,” the EY spokesperson said. “The auditor would only be liable in relation to investors in the event of intent. Our audit teams performed their audit procedures to the best of their knowledge and belief.”
TILP works exclusively on behalf of shareholders to launch “cost effective and procedurally efficient” class action lawsuits against major listed companies.
The firm said it has also launched an online platform which allows Wirecard investors to join the lawsuit for free.