The first trial in the so-called Veltyo Cybercrime Scheme was held in Saarbruecken, Germany. The defendants were two Kosovans, Betim Tasholli, Azem Spahiu, and the Syrian Mohamad Shaker. Tasholli was the boiler room manager in Pristina, Shaker was responsible for the boiler room in Prague, and Spahiu was responsible for coordinating affiliate marketing around the scam brands Option888, ZoomTrader, TradoVest, or XMarkets. The Court sentenced Azem Spahiu to a 12-year prison term. Tasholli and Shaker are allegedly on the run.
The Court Case
Option888 and the other broker scams were operated as part of the so-called Veltyco Cybercrime Scheme, established and masterminded by the German Uwe Lenhoff, who was found dead in prison in 2020; the cause of death is unknown.
During the 23 days of the trial, more than 30 witnesses testified, including more than 20 victims. The hearing of evidence showed how unscrupulous the fraudsters were in their scam. Many of these victims had made their deposits via the Dutch ING subsidiary Payvision whose founder and CEO Rudolf Booker was a close partner of Uwe Lenhoff.
The court considered it proven that 29-year-old Azem Spahiu, alongside Betim Tasholli, had defrauded clients of more than €32 million via the fraudulent binary options offers with their boiler rooms. With this amount of damage, it was the largest trial of its kind in Germany to date. The prison sentence imposed is among the highest in a fraud cases nationwide. The defense lawyers appealed against the sentence; thus, it is ineffective now.
Stay tuned for a more detailed update on the Veltyco Cybercrime Scheme.