The Israeli Gal Barak is the head of E&G Bulgaria which has operated a number of illegal broker schemes such as SafeMarkets, XTraderFX, Golden Markets or OptionStarsGlobal, cheating on many thousands retail investors. Barak, the ‘Wolf of Sofia” was arrested in Sofia during an international enforcement action back in February 2019. For health reasons, the court has released him to house arrest in Sofia. In today’s court hearing in Sofia, the judge postponed the deciscion to extradite Gal Barak until April 22, 2019.
The International Cybercrime Organization
Gal Barak and his partners Gery “Gabi” Shalon, the Russian Vladislav “Vlad” Smirnov and the German online veteran Uwe Lenhoff have established an international cybercrime empire over the last few years. The illegal broker schemes in question are only one branch in this vast dark empire. Investments were also made in online casinos and payment transaction companies. Like Barak, Lenhoff was arrested in February 2019 and is currently detained in Austria. Both are is charged with financial crime, money laundering, and fraud.
The Wolf of Sofia‘s partner, Gery Shalon, on the other hand, is charged in the U.S. with extensive cybercrime activities, securities fraud, and money laundering. After his arrest in 2015, Shalon allegedly signed a plea agreement with the prosecuting authority which included the payment of USD 400 million. There is still no date for the trial scheduled. Speculations are that Shalon is cooperating closely with the U.S. authorities and that his potential jail sentence could be significantly reduced. A respective Bloomberg report recently confirmed this speculation.
FinTelegram On the Crime Scene
Before the enforcement action and the arrest of Gal Barak and Uwe Lenhoff, FinTelegram communicated extensively with Gal Barak, Vladislav Smirnov and Gery Shalon several times. The shareholders of FinTelegram were offered a million-dollar business perspective in the event of cooperation. FinTelegram has therefore not only direct knowledge about the actors but also the necessary evidence for the assertion of the cooperation of these persons within the framework of their cybercrime organization.
The extradition of Gal Barak to Austria would only be a next step in the efforts of the European authorities to bring this cybercrime organization before the courts. It’s more a formal act than anything we understand. Meanwhile, FinTelegram will continue to report.
Credits for picture: Димитър Кьосемарлиев, Dnes.bghttps://www.dnes.bg/temida/2019/03/18/shte-pratiat-li-kiberizmanika-gal-barak-v-avstriia.404944,image10#photo