New York — The mysterious short seller who flagged financial irregularities dogging Steinhoff International has stepped out of the shadows. Fraser Perring, a former UK social worker who founded Viceroy Research, said in an interview on Wednesday in New York that he and colleagues Gabriel Bernarde and Aiden Lau were putting finishing touches on a research report questioning Steinhoff’s financials when the South African retail giant said on December 5 it would conduct a probe of its accounting. The next day, hours after the retailer announced that CEO Markus Jooste had resigned, Viceroy tweeted a link to its 37-page report detailing how Steinhoff had used off-balance-sheet entities controlled by current and former company insiders to obscure losses and inflate earnings.

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