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Breaking News: Option888 Operator Uwe Lenhoff Arrested

The European online landscape has become much safer in recent weeks. In one of the largest cybercrime campaigns, police authorities from Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria have smashed what was probably the largest network of illegal brokers and scammers. Even on a global scale. With the arrests of Israeli Gal BARAK and German Uwe LENHOFF, the European cybercrime scene loses two of its biggest and most aggressive perpetrators. That’s good news for the online scene and investors.

The German Cybercrime Pioneer

The German Uwe LENHOFF has allegedly ripped off millions of investors and clients through his network of offshore companies, his UK listed VELTYCO and illegal broker sites, online lottery sites, and other casino and gambling sites. The dark empire of Uwe LENHOFF included the illegal broker sites Option888, TradoVest, and XMarkets. Especially in Germany and Austria, many investors have lost millions with Option888. FinTelegram is aware of individual investors who have lost hundreds of thousands of Euros on Option888 with binary options. Many of these ripped-off investors have filed charges and thus triggered investigations and finally the police actions.

In addition to the unregulated and illegal broker sites, the LENHOFF network also operates LOTTOPALACE, which offers bets on lottery tickets, bingo, and scratch cards. FinTelegram receives complaints from customers of LOTTOPLACE who do not get their money paid out.

The German ciitizen Uwe Lenhoff has been arrested
Uwe Lenhoff

The accusations against LENHOFF are said to be extensive. They range from fraud to money laundering and financial crimes.

The Public-Listed VELTYCO

It is still unclear how LENHOFF’s company structure will continue. Most likely it will be shot down by the authorities with their assets seized to compensate investors. According to reports, the listed VELTYCO GROUP PLC will be restructured around the director Marcel NOORDELOOS and his Dutch compatriot and shareholder Dirk Jan BAKKER. There will be massive efforts to keep the VELTYCO out of the criminal cases around Uwe LENHOFF and Gal BARAK.

Just recently, VELTYCO announced that it would take legal action against LENHOFF companies such as CELESTIAL TRADING or ALTAIR ENTERTAINMENT. According to official statements, these two LENHOFF companies owe VELTYCO around EUR 9.3 million. VELTYCO is notorious for not disclosing the true circumstances of its business at all or only very selectively. In particular, transactions with affiliated companies and related parties or the disclosure of beneficial owners are not disclosed to shareholders or the capital market. Moreover, the company’s managers obviously failed to apply proper KYC and AML procedures. Even though it was already publicly known that companies like CELESTIAL TRADING, ALTAIR ENTERTAINMENT or CAPITAL FORCE are operating unregulated and illegal businesses VELTYCO continued to do business with them (read this FinTelegram article for more information). That said, it has to be assumed that the money owned by CELESTIAL TRADING or ALTAIR ENTERTAINMENT, for example, is illicit money anyway. VELTYCO’s people may have to answer some critical questions anytime soon.

It is currently not clear how VELTYCO could manage to reinvent itself. Currently, the company’s website is “under construction”. There are currently no announcements regarding the events surrounding the founder and main shareholder Uwe LENHOFF.

The Bulgarian Division

LENHOFF was also a shareholder in the Bulgarian company TRADOLOGIC von Gal BARAK. Together with the Israeli Gery SHALON and the Russian Vladislav SMIRNOV LENHOFF participated in this branch of the Bulgarian network of Gal BARAK. TRADOLOGIC itself is part of the investigation by the authorities. LENHOFF’s illegal broker sites such as Option888 have been operated as white label solutions by TRADOLOGIC.

Together with the Austrian Joachim KALCHER, LENHOFF has become involved in the field of cryptocurrencies. VELTYCO holds 51% of the shares in the Bulgarian VARKASSO LTD. The rest is held by BLACK CYAN LTD by Joachim KALCHER, also registered in Bulgaria. According to information FinTelegram received, the police authorities are also holding him as a suspect.

Varkasso transaction with Veltyco, Lenhoff and Kalcher

File Your Claims And Complaints

If you have been defrauded and/or damaged by one of the brands associated with Uwe LENHOFF or VELTYCO please file your claim and complaint with our EFRI Initiative.

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