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Breaking: German Satirist Jan Böhmermann Casts Spotlight on the Online Scam of Uwe Lenhoff and Wirecard Connections!

Jan Böhmermann explains the Option888 Scam of Uwe Lenhoff
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In a recent episode of “ZDF Magazin Royale,” German satirist and journalist Jan Böhmermann cast a spotlight on the intricate web of cybercrime orchestrated by Uwe Lenhoff, reigniting public and legal interest in the notorious Veltyco case. In his show, Böhmermann detailed the extensive fraudulent activities and their connections to the collapsed Wirecard. The Böhmermann show has once again brought this high-stakes cybercrime saga into the limelight.

The Masterminds and Their Network

Uwe Lenhoff, now deceased, was a central figure in a sophisticated cybercrime organization that operated under the guise of the Veltyco Group. His partner and co-shareholder at Veltyco was Dirk-Jan Bakker, a Dutch real estate and gambling investor, who played a pivotal role in financing Lenhoff’s fraudulent schemes. Bakker, a well-known figure in the Amsterdam real-estate scene, enabled Lenhoff access to the Amsterdam financial establishment.

Jan Böhmermann explains the fraud scheme of Uwe Lenhoff and Option888
Jan Böhmermann explains Uwe Lenhoff’s (small picture) Option888 scheme

Böhmermann, known for his investigative prowess and satirical edge, presented an in-depth analysis of Lenhoff’s operations, particularly focusing on Option888, a fraudulent binary options platform. According to Böhmermann, Option888 had amassed 124,000 registered users, with losses potentially amounting to hundreds of millions. He expressed outrage that the well-known German football club FC Cologne had allowed itself to be sponsored by Lenhoff and promoted Option888, thereby lending credibility to the scam. Pecunia non olet.

As Böhmermann discovered, Lenhoff (and with him Veltyco) was also active in the illegal online casino and sports betting sector. The Swedish company Betsafe, which he represented, did not have a license to offer such services in Germany. This was all known at the time of the formation of the Veltyco Group, but neither Bakker nor the other Veltyco board members were bothered by it. The 2016 stock exchange prospectus even explains in detail the sponsoring of FC Cologne. Was the legality of Lenhoff’s activities not checked when Veltyco was formed?

Wirecard, Payvision, and Financial Malfeasance

Former Wirecard executive Jan Marsalek wanted

Central to Böhmermann’s revelation was the connection between Lenhoff’s operations and the disgraced financial services provider, Wirecard. Altair Entertainment N.V., one of Lenhoff’s companies, was instrumental in processing fraudulent transactions through Wirecard. Böhmermann cited an email addressed to the fugitive former Wirecard director Jan Marsalek and revealed the connections between Altair and Marsalek.

Marsalek, now believed to be hiding in Russia with alleged assistance from Austrian secret service agents, further complicated the scandal by reportedly engaging in espionage activities for Russia during his tenure at Wirecard. The extent of his involvement with Lenhoff’s network adds another layer of intrigue and criminality to the case.

Uwe Lenhoff received a reseller agreement from Payvision
Lenhoff’s Payvision reseller agreement

Böhmermann did not mention that Wirecard was only one of two main payment services providers of Lenhoff’s cybercrime network. The other was Payvision, based in Amsterdam. Bakker arranged a meeting between Lenhoff and the then-CEO of the high-risk payment processor Payvision, Rudolf Booker. The previously convicted fraudster Lenhoff even received a reseller contract from Payvision and subsequently referred other cybercrime activists, such as the Israeli Gal Barak, to Payvision.

Lenhoff and his cybercrime partners laundered hundreds of millions of euros of stolen money through Payvision.

Payvision facilitated scammers Gal Barak and Uwe Lenhoff

The cybercrime customers’ transactions have massively inflated Payvision’s volume and, thus, the company’s valuation. With this inflated cybercrime volume, Booker then sold Pyvision to ING for €360 million. That’s how you do business, right? ING closed Payvision in 2021. The legacy of cybercrime was simply too dramatic. Why ING, under the leadership of Ralph Hamers, acquired Payvision in the first place is incomprehensible in the financial center of Amsterdam.

The Role of Dirk-Jan Bakker

Dirk Jan Bakker was a Sheltyco director

Despite claiming ignorance of Lenhoff’s criminal activities, Bakker was deeply entangled in the network. Bakker financed the establishment of Veltyco and supported Lenhoff on an ongoing basis. In 2016, Bakker even served as a director in one of Lenhoff’s key companies, Sheltyco Enterprises. His financial support and business dealings with Lenhoff raise serious questions about his role and due diligence practices.

The Veltyco Group, initially set up through a reverse takeover involving Bakker’s financially distressed gaming company Velox3, became a front for Lenhoff’s fraudulent schemes. VISTRA (Malta) Ltd and VISTRA (Curacao) Limited, corporate service providers allegedly controlled by Bakker, were instrumental in establishing entities and managing bank accounts used in the money laundering operations. The laundered funds from the defrauded victims were funneled through Altair Entertainment and other shell companies. The bank accounts of this offshore entity at Wirecard were managed by VISTRA (Curacao).

Veltyco and Uwe Lenhoff laundered money via MoneyNetInt

While Veltyco was Lenhoff’s cybercrime organization’s publicly listed front end, the operational center was Winslet Enterprises EOOD in Sofia, Bulgaria. Many of the cybercrime network’s illegal payments were made through this legal entity, as the results of the law enforcement investigations revealed.

Despite numerous warnings from financial regulators about Lenhoff’s activities, Bakker insists on his ignorance of the cybercrime operations. In a move perceived as audacious, Bakker has positioned himself as a victim and even joined the investigation against Lenhoff as a claimant. His attempts to sue FinTelegram for defamation, arguing against his partnership with Lenhoff, have been widely criticized as attempts to silence scrutiny and avoid accountability.

Download the Veltyco Due Diligence report here.

Lenhoff’s Arrest and Mysterious Death

Uwe Lenhoff was arrested in early 2019 but died under mysterious circumstances in prison in mid-2020. Rumors from the Serbian criminal underworld suggest that his death was orchestrated due to unpaid debts to Serbian crime figures and the critical knowledge he possessed. The criminal proceedings against Lenhoff’s organization continue, with several key figures, including former Veltyco Group CEO Hans Dahlgren, still at large.

Ongoing Investigations & the Amsterdam Connection

To date, the investigations have predominantly focused on Lenhoff and Dahlgren, leaving other involved parties relatively unscathed. The Amsterdam Connection of Lenhoff and Veltyco can be clearly seen in the criminal files. The now-closed payment processor Payvision was at the center of this Amsterdam Connection.

Marcel Noordeloos and Velmont

The investigating officers traced the money flow of the cybercrime organization and showed the role of Veltyco. From the money flow of the Bulgarian Winslet Enterprises, it can be seen that payments have been made to Bakkers Diman B.V., for example.

This includes Veltyco‘s former CFO Marcel Noordeloos, who managed the financial activities of the fraudulent network. Noordeloos, for example, established the Veltyco subsidiary in Montenegro, Velmont (see screenshot left). The lack of broader accountability raises concerns about the systemic issues and oversight failures that allowed such extensive fraud to occur.

Conclusion

The Veltyco case, as detailed by Jan Böhmermann, underscores the pervasive and insidious nature of financial cybercrime. The intricate schemes orchestrated by Lenhoff and Bakker, bolstered by corporate malfeasance and regulatory failures, resulted in devastating financial losses for thousands of victims. As the legal proceedings continue, the spotlight remains on uncovering the full extent of the network and ensuring justice for those affected.

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