CYBERCRIME SCENE “SAFEMARKETS” – SOME MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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Gal Barak, Gery Shalon, and Vladislav Smirnov (formerly know as Vladislav Khokholkov)

In the aftermath of the ban of the Binary Options, this huge fraud scene will be dealt with by the investigating authorities in many countries. First and foremost, the US FBI is conducting intensive investigations to get hold of the Binary Options fraud artists. The Safemarkets platform may serve as a reference case for large-scale, globally executed and Israel-controlled cybercrime case in this context.


In recent days, the discussion about binary option fraud safemarkets.com here on FinTelegram has become more intense. Comments have been exchanged by some defrauded investors and interested parties. Others contacted us via email and asked for support and additional information.

In the meantime, we have actually been able to continue our research and gather some more information about safemarkets. To further the public discussion and investigations, we share our information with our readers. The platform safemarkets.com is a white label brand of Tradologic and is run by the well-known Israeli fraud artist Gal Barak and his boiler room service partners. He is not only involved in safemarkets.com, but also in numerous other binary option projects around the leading binary options platform Tradologic. Moreover, Barak seems to be closely connected with the founder of the public-listed UK-company VELTYCO, the German Uwe LENHOFF.

According to the information available to us, this Gal Barak has left Israel and is currently either in Bulgaria or in the United States. There he has an equally notorious business partner and friend, the Russian-born Israeli citizen Gery Shalon. This guy was sentenced to several years in prison for the USD 80 million hacking of the US bank JP Morgen and released for a fine of USD 403 million. The US magazine Fortune has recently conjectured that Shalon is now cooperating with the US authorities. There have also been rumors that Shalon and his colleagues had or still have connections with the Russian secret service.

Gery Shalon‘s traces lead to a worldwide network of well-known cyber-criminals. Here is a recent article in The Times of Israel about the international hacker network. Shalon is said to have coordinated the legendary hacker attack on JP Morgan a few years ago. Sharon has been sentenced to jail and a USD 403 million fine payment. Purportedly, Shalon now cooperates with the US Attorney General’s Office and reveals his accomplices. This led to the arrest of Russian Andrei Tyurin in Georgia and his recent extradition to the US. Shalon is also no stranger in the world of cryptocurrencies. He is said to have been the beneficial owner of the now-closed illegal crypto-exchange coin.mx. Anthony Murgio, one of the operators of coin.mx, was sentenced to several years in prison in the summer of 2017. He is also said to have operated a worldwide money laundering network using cryptocurrencies.

Just recently, we received a court file stating that Shalon and Smirnov, as part of an investor group, had financed the American cyber-defense startups Gladius Network LLC. The company had successfully carried out an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and received several million dollars from crypto-investors. Gladius Network LLC has now filed a lawsuit against this group of investors in the United States. The lawsuit documents contain interesting details with further traces into the cybercrime network of Gery Shalon.

Shalon is certainly one of the great crypto artists. A newspaper called him Tony Soprano of the cybercrime scene. He also is connected with the Russian Vladislav Smirnov (formerly known as Vladislav Khokholkov and as such involved in cybercrime). This Smirnov is also responsible for the payment platform Dreams Pay which is involved in many binary options scams.

[to be continued]

Together with our Israeli partner Wealth Recovery International (WRI) and investigating authorities, we have researched further details on the persons involved and their network and are preparing a further report with details in this regard. In addition, together with lawyers and WRI, we will shortly launch a funds recovery initiative for cheated investors. Knowing the people behind fraudulent schemes is the key to recover funds for investors.


Also published on Medium.

15 COMMENTS

  1. “best888” – Gal is using this user name as an affiliate in the Tradologic platform in order to shave all other affiliates and not pay them, he simply duplicates the leads the affiliates are bringing in all the platform in order to get free traffic only to his brands.

    Continue working with Tradologic brands and you will get scammed and eventually you wont get paid anything.

  2. Tamir

    I have to tell you that what you write here in comments is quite contradictory. You say you closely work with enforcement agencies, lawyers and investigators. You mention that in a context of source of information. Neither lawyers nor enforcement agents are allowed to share information about their subjects/clients, and hence can not be that source by definition.

    Investigators? Hmm, funny who would be financing their expensive work? Don’t tell me that google ads banner on 8k monthly visitors is generating income. So what is the source of the information?

    If the information was truthful, and fintelegram was an icon of investigative jounralism – every post would cost you thousands. So, question – what is the source of financing for this article?

    Now let’s see the facts. “Gery Shalon. This guy was sentenced to several years in prison for the USD 80 million”. Was he really sentenced to several years in prison? Can we look at the sentence? Its always a public information.

    Let’s see if you approve this comment.

    • Hi there, why wouldn’t we approve your comment? Excellent questions regarding our business model deserve to be discussed. Here are a few answers even though they are not connected to this crime case:

      (1) within our FinTelegram team we have lawyers, auditors, and financial guys with years of experience and hence have the experience for investigations
      (2) lawyers happily share their findings when it supports their and their clients position. In some of our big cases we are paid to support the legal team with our know-how (consulting)
      (3) we are still a young project and hence have to be adoptive when it comes to revenue. Currently, most of our income comes from lawyers and enforcement agencies purchasing our know-how. Enforcement agencies, for example, have dedicated funds to hire people like us.
      (4) FinTelegram is a media with a purpose: investors protection. We are not interested to side with any party in lawsuits and litigation cases except investors.

      Regarding the our sources and Gery Shalon. There are of course official legal files and court file we are relying on. Take this SEC lawsuit, for example: https://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2015/comp-pr2015-152.pdf or this piece of legal work of the US DoJ: https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/792651/download.

      Thx for your comment. Always open to discuss.
      Best
      Tamir

  3. Your armchair detective work is almost as good the the “intelligence” firms you partner with that have no background or experience in any type of asset tracing. A simple search on facebook shows no experience necessary to become an “investigator” at said firm – your site clearly is a bastion of integrity. For transparency purposes how does your site actually make money? A check on alexa shows there is no way ad revenues cover it…so clearly you are getting back end commissions by working with shady “intelligence” firms. Who else compensates you? Is there a reason why you publish inaccurate information? Something is amiss..cute site though.

    • do not worry about our financial income – we are people earning money in our daytoday jobs, which are just fed up by the amount of fraud going on in the webspace.

      • I will refer to your “ethics statement” at the bottom of your site where you declare:

        We do not make paid endorsements of any kind.
        We do not personally invest in companies we cover.
        Our editorial team does not produce paid content.

        However, you promote as a “partner” a “intelligence firm” that has left a trail of victims globally and a simple google search shows hundreds of victims leaving negative comments about being scammed by said intelligence firm.

        So yes, it is my business since you declare you abide by your own “ethics” guidelines.

        Why don’t you just admit that you are in cahoots with recovery room scams?

        I guess integrity and ethics are just words with no meaning…

  4. First, the system consists of 4 stages, the first stage is Conversion, contacting the client and convincing to invest in small amounts of money. The second Retension stage here treats you to pay more money and promise the fulfillment of your dreams, and all transactions are done either personally or by logging on to your computer via Anydesk, the third stage of the Academy where you have given your submissions in the previous two stages Visa or Master cards, where they willingly strip you everything you have on your cards using VPN to hide your company’s location and their location. And from a recent new stage it is an alleged Help desk where if you insist that the money is not returned to you, they will give you a part of the money invested by persuading you that your mistake is everything.

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