Notorious scam-facilitator Deutsche Handelsbank about to close down payment business
The notoriously well-known Deutsche Handelsbank has been in the FinTelegram focus over the last three years. Like ING's Dutch subsidiary Payvision and, until its collapse, Wirecard, the bank was a prime address for scammers and cybercrime organizations. Uwe Lenhoff, who died in prison in 2020, was one of the clients of Deutsche Handelsbank and used the bank to launder the illicit proceeds of his huge lotto scam LottoPalace. Now the German financial institution seems to be about to its dirty payment division.
Really? Scam victims’ money allegedly financed the campaign of the President of Montenegro!
The Belgrade-based online news portal In4S exposed an explosive political dimension of cybercrime charges around Gal Barak und Uwe Lenhoff. The Belgrade lawyer Marko Vujosevic allegedly stole and laundered €19 million via Global Payment Solutions DOO (GPS) in Montenegro. GPS is at the very center of the cybercrime organization of Barak and Lenhoff. The latter died in prison for unknown reasons. Barak was sentenced to four years in prison for investment fraud and money laundering. And now IN4S claims part of these cybercrime proceeds was used to finance the President of Montenegro.
Lithuanian compliance issue or why GlobalNetInt is grateful for its penalization
A penalty is usually not an occasion for gratitude. That would also make the purpose of a punishment absurd. Usually, one is grateful for a received punishment only if one is aware that one has gotten away well with this punishment and should actually have been punished much worse. A driver who is speeding while massively impaired by alcohol or other drugs certainly grateful is grateful if he is punished by the police only for speeding and not for the offense of driving under the influence (DUI). Similarly, GlobalNetInt (GNI) shows itself grateful for the penalization by the Bank of Lithuania.
Bank of Lithuania fines GlobalNetInt for violating money-laundering rules and restricts business
The Lithuanian-Israeli e-Money Institution GlobalNetInt, part of the FCA-regulated MoneyNetint Group, was fined by the Bank of Lithuania for its violations of anti-money laundering and terrorist activities financing rules. GNI has to pay €350,000 because it did not properly assess the risk posed by customers and did not always ensure that customer identification remotely complied with legal requirements. GNI, focused on high-risk clients, does not rely on information from a reliable and independent source when verifying the documents and information on beneficiaries. No surprise here!
R4I – Connectum, Walletto, and the money laundering connections to Russian Binex Group
The former CEO and beneficial owner of FCA-regulated Connectum Limited, Latvian Edgars Lasmanis has joined Walletto UAB, a regulated Lithuanian e-money institution, as chairman of the supervisory board. He has held this role since October 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile. Lasmanis resigned as director and CEO of Connectum in January 2021, according to UK Companies House. Connectum, in turn, has had a central role in the money laundering of Binex Group LP around the E&G Bulgaria cybercrime organization of Gal Barak, Gery Shalon, and Vladislav Smirnov.
The incredible story of Wirecard Mini-me Payvision and its founder Rudolf Booker
Amsterdam FinTech entrepreneur Rudolf Booker founded the payment processor Payvision in 2002 and ran it more or less successfully. The business evidently took off in 2015 when Amsterdam real estate investor Dirk-Jan Bakker introduced German cybercrime activist Uwe Lenhoff to Booker. Lenhoff and his partners brought dozens of fraudulent binary options operators to Payvision, where Booker welcomed them with open arms. In 2018, Booker sold Payvision to ING for €360 million, fully packed with high-risk and illegal clients; in April 2020, he and his co-founders left Payvision.
That’s a new approach – plain-sight money laundering via LinkedIn
It is common knowledge that Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media are used by scammers to present their scams and catch victims. With beautiful photos about expensive cars, jewelry, expensive brands, or other lies. Catching victims for investment scams on Instagram has long become a kind of "cybercrime culture". What is new for us, however, is that people want to launder money quite in plain sight via Facebook. A whistleblower sent us an interesting link today to a financial business consultant looking for bank accounts to launder money.
The background story of Austrian Meinl Bank and its now arrested CEO
Austria's Meinl Bank was notorious for its role in the international money laundering scene. In September 2020, FinTelegram reported that a significant portion of the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARS) revealed by the FinCEN Leaks involved Austrian Meinl Bank and its subsidiary Meinl Bank Antigua. In addition, the OCCRP report titled The Vienna Bank Job revealed that the bank laundered hundreds of millions from Ukraine. Furthermore, cybercrime activists such as Russian Vladislav Smirnov also used Meinl Bank for his business. Meinl Bank has since closed; its former CEO, Peter Weinzierl, was arrested yesterday in the UK.
Fraud campaign Daily Profit promotes Merkell Group scam facilitated BridgerPay
One of the emails arriving today leads us to the fraudulent Daily Profit campaign on the www.bst-offers.com website. There, a video once again promises us quick riches. Nothing new under the sun. We would only have to register to get access to this rapid wealth. Upon registering, we are redirected to the payment page of the broker scam Merkell Group (www.merkellgroup.com). There we meet BridgerPay once again as the scam-facilitating payment processor. Stay far away from these fraudulent campaigns.
iPayTotal, perhaps the most notorious high-risk payment processor, is apparently closing down for good. This can be read on the website www.ipaytotal.com of the British-Indian company. This does not really come as a surprise. In November 2020, the UK High Court of Justice ordered the dissolution of the company. The company's business was transferred to iPaySolutions Ltd. Sen Kugan was appointed as director and registered as the beneficial owner. Now it appears that it is finally over.
Maltese Compliance Issue – Paytah accuses MFSA of acting in violation of the constitution
The regulated Maltese high-risk payment processor Phoenix Payments Ltd d/b/a Paytah, has sued its regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Paytah accuses MFSA of being judge, jury, and executioner. The payment processor took this unprecedented step after the Maltese regulator fined it EUR 32,400 and restricted the company's license. This is not a normal civil court case. Instead, Paytah brought the claim against MFSA at the Constitutional Courts level. This is a first in Malta. Paytah has also sued MFSA for damages.