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WANdisco CEO and CFO quit as fraud investigation finds cash shortfall

WANdisco CEO
Image credit: monticello via Shutterstock

The CEO and CFO of embattled data company WANdisco have stepped down after an internal fraud investigation found over $115m in missing purchase orders.

David Richards, the co-founder and chief executive, and financial officer Erik Miller, will leave their roles WANdisco with immediate effect. They are also stepping down from the board, though as of now remain shareholders in the firm.

WANdisco said the executives stepping down is not related to the irregularities recently found in the company’s financial reports.

The chief executive position will be taken up by Kenneth Lever, while Ijoma Maluza will act as the interim CFO.

“Over the years David and Erik have contributed significant time and effort to establishing and developing WANdisco,” said Kenneth Lever, executive chairman, WANdisco.

“They remain meaningful shareholders in the business and continue to believe in the long-term, successful future for this company and its unique technology.”

The leadership exodus follows WANdisco’s shares being suspended from trading on the AIM market in London after “potentially fraudulent irregularities” were discovered in the company accounts.

The suspension came just days after it was reported that the Sheffield-based company had begun the early stages of listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

WANdisco released a statement in March that said: “Following investigations undertaken by the CFO and CEO, and as reported to the board of directors of the company, significant, sophisticated and potentially fraudulent irregularities with regard to received purchase orders and related revenue and bookings, as represented by one senior sales employee, have been discovered.”

UKTN has reached out to WANdisco for further comment.

Mark Hastings, partner at Quillon Law, said: “Whether this is a simple case of misstated sales figures or a more sophisticated case of fraud is yet to be determined, but as the investigation continues and expands in scope it is entirely possible that we will see more evidence of fraudulent activity uncovered.”