If questions about the integrity of Wirecard AG’s accounting in its crucial Asian operations are ever to be resolved, Singapore regulators will need to step back and take a long, hard look at James Henry O’Sullivan’s relationship to the Aschheim, Germany–based company. Prosecutors at Singapore’s Consumer Affairs Department have been investigating Wirecard’s fast-growing Asian division, claiming in a March 8 filing that employees in its Singapore office orchestrated a complex, multiyear scheme to inflate the company’s revenue.
Few companies can explain their meteoric growth as alluringly as Wirecard AG. In one preferred narrative, Wirecard presents as Europe’s leading financial technology innovator, a globe-spanning developer of white label code and applications that remove the friction from electronic payments. And in another, it’s a nimble bank, steadily generating low-risk revenue through the sale of integrated banking and credit-card processing services to businesses, and prepaid credit-cards to consumers.
After the Financial Times published a pair of whistleblower-driven exposés that suggested some of Wirecard’s parabolic growth in the Asia-Pacific region resulted from a purported multiyear revenue inflation scheme, anyone wanting to better understand the German payments company’s situation would do well to “follow the money.”
If someone wanted to use a Venn diagram to illustrate what is wrong with the U.S. health care system, picking the different sets would be easy: Price gouging, abuse of loopholes, hidden risks to patients, baffling regulatory decisions, marginal efficacies and the use of doctor payments to stimulate drug sales would be some logical choices.
In early May several hundred investors, doctors and brokerage research analysts attended a dinner presentation after cocktails offered by the leadership of Myriad Genetics in Manhattan’s midtown. Salt Lake City–based Myriad, best known for its hereditary cancer tests, was in New York to tout new research on its increasingly popular GeneSight product during the American Psychiatric Association’s annual conference.
Things are not going well for Newton Glassman. In April he was the subject of a lengthy exposé that detailed the many ways his direction of Catalyst Capital Group Inc., a Toronto-based private equity fund with $4.3 billion in capital commitments, and its sister company Callidus Capital Corp. should alarm investors and regulators. Plus, Glassman directed the fund’s plunge into a series of costly and reputation-threatening lawsuits against a host of purported enemies.
Frequently sporting a $2 billion plus market capitalization, Acadia Pharmaceuticals brings to mind the work of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. His 1929 painting “The Treachery of Images” depicts a pipe with the inscription “This is not a pipe,” suggesting that an image and its meaning don’t necessarily correspond with each other.
It was corporate skulduggery at its most audacious. Last September Frank Newbould dined at Scaramouche, a swanky downtown Toronto restaurant, with a businessman who said he would like to hire Newbould as an arbitrator. In reality, this was a ruse to engineer an attempted sting on Newbould, a retired Ontario judge, as the National Post reported.