Wirecard investor lawsuit against EY filed in Munich

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -A new investor lawsuit is claiming more than 700 million euros ($771.40 million) in damages from accounting firm EY for its role in auditing the books of Wirecard before its collapse in 2020, a shareholder group said.

The 80,000-page suit represents 13,000 individual and institutional investors and was filed in a Munich court on Friday, the DSW shareholder protection group said.

It is one of several lawsuits EY is facing in the matter.

EY declined to comment. EY has previously rebuffed the claims against it for damages in relation to Wirecard.

Wirecard’s downfall shook the German business establishment, putting politicians who had backed it under intense scrutiny, along with regulators that took years to investigate allegations against the payments company.

Wirecard ended by filing for insolvency in June 2020, owing creditors almost $4 billion, after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro hole in its accounts that EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

Klaus Nieding, a lawyer representing the shareholders in the lawsuit, said that EY should have seen “relatively easily that the alleged 1.9 billion did not exist in Wirecard’s corresponding accounts, because” another auditor later “found this out very quickly”.

($1 = 0.9074 euros)

(Reporting by Tom Sims. Editing by Jane Merriman and Linda Pasquini)