OctaPay – The exposed fraud, the vanished money, and many open questions!
According to his LinkedIn profile, Christian van Biezen lives and works in Limassol, Cyprus, one of the European powerhouses of Forex brokers, which are part of a high-risk industry, whether regulated or unregulated. Consequently, a highly active high-risk payment processor scene has developed around these Cypriot forex brokers. OctaPay was one of them, and Christian van Biezen was its director until he realized it was defrauding its merchants. So he left in December 2020, exposing the crime. As a result, OctaPay and its people vanished with most of its customer funds.
Notorious high-risk payment processor iPaytotal launches unregulated Estonian CryptoMatix
Until recently, Aditya Williams was the registered director of the Estonian iPayTotal OÜ but was replaced in March 2021 by the Estonian nominee director Monika Sild. Currently, iPaytotal does not have a license from the Estonian FIU to operate a crypto payment platform. Nevertheless, the company is the operator of CryptoMatix, which Ruchi Rathor apparently set up. However, it seems that iPayTotal OÜ may try to obtain an FIU crypto license to get more involved in the crypto payment segment.
Today we receive an email in which we are informed that there would still be a credit balance of more than €1,800 on our account. They had already tried to contact us several times to let us have our money! Within 48 hours, they would delete the account if we did not contact them. OK, let's have a look. The link in the email takes us to the BITCOIN WORLDWIDE campaign, where we are promised a bitcoin bonus. Then we are redirected to the YuanPay Group (www.yuanpay-system.com) site, which finally redirects us to payment pages of various scam brokers.
GlobalNetInt CEO launched new financial services venture Findiban
Liudvikas Kulikauskas, founder, CEO, and shareholder of GlobalNetInt UAB (GNI), an e-Money Institution (EMI) regulated by the Bank of Lithuania with authorization code LB000434, has founded a payment processor Ifind MB d/b/a Findiban (www.findiban.com), together with his wife, Egle Kulikauskiene. The company is apparently positioned as a high-risk payment processor, offering businesses a range of financial services, including SEPA IBAN account, white-label FinTech services, or credit card processing.
GlobalNetInt, Converta, and the StoxMarket connection
The Romanian CONVERTA DIGITAL MARKET S.R.L. (CONVERTA) is an authorized agent working for the Lithuanian EMI GlobalNetInt UAB (GNI), which the Bank of Lithuania regulates with the authorization code LB000434. CONVERTA has its registered office in Bucharest. There is nothing special about the Romanian payment processor except one former beneficial owner: at the time of the conclusion of the agent agreement with GNI, the Israeli Mordechay Litke was (or maybe still is) one of them. And he was one of the scammers behind StoxMarket et al.
Investor Alert – Investors Center and Trading Academy 360 facilitate broker scams big style
Scams are facilitated by fraudulent marketing campaigns and malicious payment processors. Take the Triton Capital Markets broker, for example. The scam, allegedly operated by Karello D Buro LLC, registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has been warned against by the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) on February 18, 2021 (report here). However, it has been facilitated by Investors Center, Trading Academy 360, and Praxis Cashier. Here are a few more details.
Investor Warning – Celox is another broker scam in the Plutus Racket
We have reported about Plutus Racket scams several times in the last few weeks. So far, thanks to our whistleblowers and with the information provided by victims, we have found the scam brands Plutus, Lucrum, and Galore. Apparently, the Celox (www.celox.live) scam also belongs to Plutus Racket. Furthermore, we have discovered Praxis Cashier, BitTheBank, XChangePro, and Polish Sales Master Z.O.O. as facilitating payment processors. Behind all these scam brands are the same boiler rooms in Bulgaria and the Balkans working with Anydesk.
Investor Attention – Binary options scam StoxMarket is back online
We have already warned several times against the StoxMarket scam operated by the Israelis Mordechay Litke and Chaim Bornstein via their offshore entities Marketier Holdings Ltd, Yukon Global Ltd, and Technofin Ltd, using boiler rooms in Serbia and Albania. PandaTS-powered StoxMarkets has been one of the largest binary options scams between 2015 and 2019 until it suddenly vanished into thin air, leaving thousands of victims behind. It seems as if www.stoxmarket.com is back online, though.
Breaking News – Criminal complaints against Payvision and its founders
Payvision and its founder and former CEO Rudolf Booker are already subjects of the criminal proceedings in Germany and Austria. Uwe Lenhoff, the alleged mastermind of a cybercrime organization, was arrested in January 2019. He was a personal friend of Booker and used Payvision for his dirty business. Rudolf Booker was introduced to Lenhoff by Amsterdam real estate investor Dirk-Jan Bakker, a partner of Lenhoff, who was found dead in his prison cell in July 2020. Criminal charges have now been filed against Payvision and its founders for money laundering and investment fraud.
In recent weeks, Paystruct (www.paystruct.com) has appeared more and more frequently as a payment processor in our analysis of scam brokers. Like many of the high-risk payment processors, Paystruct discloses very little information on its website. There is no indication of the legal entity and individuals behind it. Contact can be made by email or phone with a number in London. Also, there is no additional information on the merchant dashboard except that Paystruct is supposed to be the world's best closed-loop token payment system with payouts under 24 hours.
Unbelievable. The dirty wealth of the boiler room fraudster James Morra!
Israeli Gal Barak was sentenced to four years in prison for investment fraud and money laundering as one of the principals of the cybercrime organization E&G Bulgaria in the Vienna Cybercrime Trials in September 2020. His wife, Marina Barak, is also charged and is currently on trial. Gal Barak is currently being extradited to Germany, where he will also be charged. In Germany, a former Bulgarian co-conspirator responsible for dozens of victims as boiler room manager is already waiting in prison. This Bulgarian going by the stage name James Morra earned a small fortune by defrauding unsuspecting victims.