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Briton charged in Singapore as police probe Wirecard-linked firm

By Reuters

By Chen Lin

SINGAPORE – A British man has been charged in Singapore with involvement in alleged fraud by a company linked to the collapsed German payments firm Wirecard, according to police.

James Henry O’Sullivan is accused of colluding with R Shanmugaratnam, a director of accounting firm Citadelle Corporate Services, to send a false document to a Dubai-based Wirecard subsidiary claiming Citadelle held more than $100 million in an escrow account.

O’Sullivan, 46, was arrested on Monday and is being detained pending further investigation. His case was heard by a court on Wednesday and adjourned until Sept. 8.

If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to 10 years, fined, or both.

The Briton’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Shanmugaratnam could not immediately be reached.

In July last year, Singapore authorities launched an investigation into Citadelle, Senjo Group and its subsidiaries after scrutinising Wirecard’s local operations.

Wirecard, founded in 1999, filed for insolvency in June last year, owing creditors almost $4 billion, after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro hole in its accounts, which auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.

Shanmugaratnam is facing 14 counts of falsification of accounts for allegedly issuing 14 letters from Citadelle to Wirecard, its subsidiaries and an audit firm, which police said falsely stated Citadelle held large sums of money in escrow accounts between 2015 and 2017.

O’Sullivan charges centre on his alleged involvement in falsifying a letter to Wirecard’s Cardsystems Middle East FZ LLC that stated that Citadelle had held a balance of about 86.4 million euros ($102.3 million) in escrow in December 2016.

($1 = 0.8449 euros)