Netflix feature documentary reveals the unbelievable true story of an investigation by Dan McCrum and journalists at the Financial Times that brought a $30bn fraud crashing down

SKANDAL! Bringing Down Wirecard will be available to stream globally from Friday 16 September.

The documentary film (1x90’) shows how payment firm Wirecard wowed the financial industry with its runaway success — until a tenacious team of Financial Times reporters exposed it as a massive fraud.

An extraordinary tale of dirty tricks and journalism in the era of fake news, the film is a globetrotting thriller that shows the dark side of the technology boom. It centres on Dan McCrum, who led a team of reporters on a six-year investigation to expose a giant web of deceit and corruption, and the outrageous tactics Wirecard used to try to squash the story and discredit the newspaper. 

When McCrum receives a tip to investigate the hot new tech company regarded as Europe’s answer to PayPal, everything about Wirecard looked a little too good to be true: offices were sprouting up around the world, it was reporting runaway growth and headed up by a CEO channelling Steve Jobs. In just a few short years, the company grew from obscurity to overtake industry giants like Deutsche Bank in the stock market.

But as McCrum scratches at Wirecard’s glossy surface, he finds a story stranger and more dangerous than he could have imagined: a world of porn barons, whistle-blowers, private militias, master criminals, hackers and Russian spies. As this financial thriller unfolds, McCrum is soon in deep and realises that he’s not the only one in pursuit. Shadowy figures are following him through London, powerful lawyers are sending threatening, ominous letters to his editor, and he is named a prime suspect in a criminal investigation. The race to prove his suspicions and clear his name is on.

Worth €24bn at its peak, in June 2020 Wirecard stunned the stock market by crashing into insolvency as a result of the Financial Times' intrepid reporting, with claims against the bankrupt company totalling more than €12bn.

The documentary arrives as a trial is about to begin in Germany of the turtleneck-sporting former CEO Markus Braun. His protege with connections to Russian intelligence, COO Jan Marsalek, remains a fugitive last seen in Moscow. 

Dan McCrum said: “It's an incredible story of our age, the kind of case that makes you say: wait a minute, that just can't be true! We hear a lot about dirty money, and this film shows just how dangerous it is when that dirty money comes after you. It’s a privilege to bring it to the screen with Netflix and Passion Pictures, and to share it with a global audience.”

FT editor Roula Khalaf said: “Skandal! lifts the lid on this billion dollar fraud and recognises the tenacious team of FT journalists that helped to uncover the truth about Wirecard. This story underlines why scrutiny of companies by a free press is fundamental and must be protected.”

SKANDAL! Bringing Down Wirecard will be available to all Netflix subscribers globally on Friday 16 September.

In November 2020, Dan McCrum was awarded the highest prize for investigative journalism in Germany. 

Produced by Passion Pictures for Netflix

Directed by James Erskine

Executive producers: Dan McCrum, Paul Murphy, Juliet Riddell, Fiona Stourton, Andrew Ruhemann, Lizzie Gillett

Producers: Zora Kuettner


For more information, please contact: 

UK |  Mark Staniland  | 

US | Molly Eisner | 

Hong Kong | Danielle McGuigan | 


About Dan McCrum

Dan McCrum is a multi-award winning journalist and author. He is a member of the Financial Times investigations team, and has spent 15 years writing about business from New York and London. His reporting has been recognised with more than a dozen prizes, including Journalist of the Year at the 2020 British Press Awards. SKANDAL! Bringing Down Wirecard is based on his first book ‘Money Men: a hot start up, a billion dollar fraud, a fight for the truth’ published by Penguin

About the Financial Times

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of 1.2 million, more than one million of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

About Passion Pictures

Founded in 1987 by Andrew Ruhemann, PASSION Pictures is a multi-faceted, full-service studio working across both live-action and animation in features, series, commercial and gaming. With an established global reputation as a renowned animation studio, it is also home to a multi-award-winning team at the forefront of innovation and creativity developing technology to allow creative pioneers to realise their full potential. With offices in London, Paris and Barcelona. With an in-house team working and global roster of talent working across animation and live-action features, series, commercials and gaming. The multi-award winning company has been recognised by the most prestigious awards and festivals worldwide, most notably winning three Academy Awards in both animation and documentary.