German Prosecutor Of The Wolf Of Sofia Was Awarded The Highest Honor! What About The Whistleblowers?

Gal Barak and the gang
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Nino Goldbeck became known to FinTelegram readers as the chief prosecutor of Gal Barak, a/k/a, Wolf of Sofia, and his cybercrime organization in Germany. The Association of German Criminal Investigators recently awarded Goldbeck its highest honor, “Bul le mérite.” However, the honor of crashing the Wolf of Sofia‘s cybercrime organization belongs not only to Goldbeck but also to the enabling whistleblowers who exposed the fraud via FinTelegram. Here is the true story.

The Gal Barak Indictment

The award was given to Goldbeck for his role in the indictment of cybercrime mastermind Gal Barak, the Wolf of Sofia, in Germany. Goldbeck filed charges against Barak in Germany, to which Barak’s lawyers objected. The European Court of Justice rejected the appeal and allowed the indictment. Therefore, Goldbeck will likely meet the Wolf of Sofia in another trial in Germany soon. Barak is in Israel after his release from prison.

In an oral hearing before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg at the beginning of July 2022, Goldbeck represented the German position in the “Wolf of Sofia” case, which he has been conducting for years. The judgment of the ECJ of March 23, 2023, concerns the fundamental problem of criminal proceedings in the case of cross-border groups with a large number of victims in multiple jurisdictions and will have considerable states and practical relevance.

FinTelegram, The Whistleblowers & The Wolf Of Sofia

Gal Barak is the Wolf of Sofia

The story started in 2018 when FinTelegram was just a few months old and published a report about German cybercrime activist Uwe Lenhoff and his organization. A whistleblower contacted us and offered information about Lenhoff and his business partner, the Israeli Gal Barak. At the time, Barak had the headquarters of his cybercrime organization E&G Bulgaria in Sofia, Bulgaria, which operated various broker scams and boiler rooms in Bulgaria, Serbia, and other jurisdictions.

The title “Wolf of Sofia” for Gal Barak was born and coined by FinTelegram with a report published in September 2018. Barak, with his organization and scam brokers like XTraderFX, SafeMarkets, or ZoomTrader, defrauded tens of thousands of victims worldwide of more than $200 million.

Gal Barak, the Wolf of Sofia and his cybercrime network

FinTelegram gave various law enforcement agencies the information with the whistleblower’s consent. This made the investigation against Gal Barak possible in the first place. At the time, the authorities did not know his name or organization. With the information obtained by FinTelegram via the whistleblowers, the now-honored German prosecutor Nino Goldbeck and his colleagues in other European jurisdictions were able to start the investigation.

A few months later, in early 2019, Gal Barak and Uwe Lenhoff were arrested. Lenhoff died in custody (cause of death unknown), and Barak was convicted in September 2020 for investment fraud and money laundering in Austria.

Charges Against Whistleblowers

Goldbeck and his colleagues certainly did an excellent job. There is no question about that. Also, the investigating police officers were awarded for breaking up the organization of the Wolf of Sofia. This case was, without exaggeration, the breakthrough in the fight against cybercrime in Europe. Only by uncovering and analyzing Gal Barak‘s methods did investigators realize cybercrime organizations’ true scope.

What remains is the whistleblowers. They were charged and are on trial, even though he revealed and voluntarily handed over information. The verdict is expected in September 2023.

No protection for whistleblowers

We don’t think it’s right that the investigators of the Wolf of Sofia are awarded the highest honors while they file charges against the enabling whistleblower. This certainly has negative consequences in the long term. Whistleblowers will be wary of providing information to the authorities in the future.

Share Information

If you have any information about the Gal Barak, its affiliates, and its activities, please let us know through our whistleblower system, Whistle42.

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