By Jörn Poltz
MUNICH (Reuters) - German state prosecutors are investigating Wirecard <WDIG.DE> for suspected money laundering, a spokeswoman for the Munich prosecutor's office said on Thursday.
"We are investigating suspected money laundering," the spokeswoman told Reuters, saying the inquiry was directed at individuals from Wirecard. She said it followed a number of criminal complaints this year and last.
Wirecard declined to comment.
The implosion of what was seen as a German success story once worth $28 billion has caused major embarrassment with experts and politicians criticising what they see as a hands-off approach on the part of the authorities.
Wirecard filed for insolvency last month owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro ($2.1 billion) hole in its accounts that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud.
Wirecard started out handling payments for gambling and adult websites and now processes payments for companies including Visa <V.N> and Mastercard <MA.N>.
Some of the world's biggest investors held its shares before a whistleblower said it owed its success to a web of sham transactions.
(Reporting by Joern Poltz; additional reporting and writing by John O'Donnell; editing by Edward Taylor)