Wirecard Shareholders Things could Get Worse Now
Wirecard shareholders, things could get worse now, because insolvency administrator Michel Jaffre is causing unrest when dealing with the scandal. The trigger is media reports that Jaffé wants to reclaim the dividends paid by Wirecard for 2017 and 2018. That was “a shock for the deceived shareholders”, criticized the Munich lawyer Peter Mattil on Friday. Mattil represents the claims of a number of Wirecard shareholders in insolvency proceedings.
The German Protection Association for Securities Possession (DSW) tried to smooth things over by referring to the Stock Corporation Act. Because there it is regulated that shareholders only have to pay back profit shares “if they knew or did not know as a result of negligence that they were not entitled to purchase”. “Therefore … please keep calm”, wrote DSW General Manager Marc Tüngler on Twitter.
The legal background: According to tax lawyers and insolvency administrators, when fraudulent companies file for bankruptcy, it is the usual procedure to correct the incorrect balance sheets – and consequently also tax payments and profit distributions. Jaffé’s law firm did not comment on the reports when asked.
12 billion euros in claims
In the Wirecard insolvency proceedings, creditors and shareholders have registered claims of over 12 billion euros. In any case, a fundamental legal dispute about the claims of the shareholders in the insolvency proceedings is emerging. Shareholders are initially co-owners of a company, not creditors who have given loans. Jaffé has therefore stated several times that a court may have to clarify whether the shareholders have claims in the insolvency proceedings.