German market watchdog alleges Wirecard shares manipulated

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s financial market watchdog says it has filed criminal complaints over alleged market manipulation affecting shares in payment service provider Wirecard AG.

The regulator, known as BaFin, declined to confirm reports Tuesday that the criminal complaints also targeted journalists whose recent reports may have influenced the company’s stock price.

German weekly Der Spiegel reported that BaFin reported about a dozen individuals — including reporters for London’s Financial Times newspaper — to Munich prosecutors, alleging they were involved in a “short attack” against Wirecard shares.

Prosecutors already said in February that they have opened an investigation against a Financial Times journalist who reported on allegations of fraudulent accounting at Wirecard. The paper at the time called allegations of inappropriate behavior leveled against its staff in relation to Wirecard “baseless and false.”

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