FinTelegram yesterday published the report on the background of the Austrian-Israeli 23Traders Binary Options broker scam. We have tormented ourselves through hundreds of pages of paper and talked to insiders. Similar to the Panama Papers, our documents include notarized company documents, payment documents and statements by insiders. The authenticity of documents and intel sources has been carefully checked by FinTelegram. Especially in the case of 23Traders, we checked everything several times. With the suicide of 23Traders‘ Canadian customer Fred Turbide, this scam became medial and legally sensitive. The uncovering of the 23Traders case is only in its early stage.
The tax lawyer as nominee
Upon publishing of the report, we were contacted by the well-known Israeli tax attorney Adi Mantel. He denied that he was a beneficial owner of 23Traders alongside the Austrian Hans Brabenetz and/or Giora Tal. He would have acted in his capacity as tax lawyer only he argued:
I am a tax lawyer and my mere involvement was providing services of incorporating Hermes. OnTax lawyer Adi Mantel in a statement to FinTelegram
incorporationshares were subscribed to me as a nominee and immediately after were transferred to a holding company in Jersey called Uranus.
Consequently, we have confronted Adi Mantel with the fact he is presented on applications for payment services as the beneficial owner of Hermes Ventures Ltd and thus 23Traders. These applications are required for Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) checks. His answer:
I am not representing any BO. In the meanwhile, please provide me the PSP documents you are claiming to have related to me and if you are refusing to do so please publish that I asked you to and you have refused.Tax lawyer Adi Mantel in a statement to FinTelegram
If we didn’t take the 23Traders report offline, he would sue FinTelegram and showed himself convinced to win this court case then. OK, message received.
Let’s start public discussion
In the very best interest of investor protection and all victims of 23Traders, we decided NOT to take the respective report offline. The presented facts are true and fully supported by the documents. But, of course, Adi Mantel has all rights to be heard and to present his view. We have not claimed in our report that he personally did something wrong. We uncovered his involvement in the fraud scheme as a beneficial owner and/or representative for a beneficial owner.
Even though his latest statements are a bit confusing – first he claims to have acted as a nominee (on behalf of
As can be seen from the above copy of a notarial deed, Adi Mantel was indeed the sole shareholder of Hermes Ventures Ltd, first Anguilla and then St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This Hermes Ventures Ltd has purchased the domain www.23traders.com and registered itself (with Adi Mantel as beneficial owner) with payment service providers.
While it may or not be that the Austrian director of Hermes Ventures Ltd, Hans Brabenetz, has filed a false application with the payment services providers it’s pretty clear that Adi Mantel was deeply involved in the setup of the 23Traders scam as a nominee for the ultimate beneficial owners. On the other hand, this beneficial owner evidently has not been uncovered as requested by law, tax authorities, and financial regulations. This is what we said in our initial report on the 23Traders scheme:
Given the latest communication with Adi Mantel, we can stick to these cautious statements. The important question is how deep the Israeli tax lawyer actually was involved in the scheme and whether he was aware of the applications with the payment services providers (PSP) showing him as the beneficial owner. These PSPs definitely play a crucial role in the 23Traders scam.
Market Giants and 23Traders payment services
We have plenty of other documents to back up our research. For example, emails showing that Market Giants Ltd, the Israeli boiler room operator for 23Traders, also coordinated payments directly with the banks and payment service providers involved.
At this point, we may refer to the name Giora Tal. According to research by Simona Weinglass of The Times of Israel, he was one of the founders of 23Traders (read the report here). Furthermore, the emails available to FinTelegram show the involvement of Eyal Nachum and his Payobin in the 23Traders scam.
In this respect, we are now waiting for Adi Mantel‘s lawsuit and/or a public discussion. This will give FinTelegram and all the victims of the 23Traders scam the public stage to find finally the truth and expose the ultimate penetrators.