Since the money-laundering prosecution of Payvision and its founders became known, the Dutch media has been intensively interested in the founder Rudolf Booker but also in the role of ING. In an interview with Financieele Dagblad, Rudolf Booker sees a witch hunt against him. The authorities are investigating whether ING paid an inflated purchase price for Payvision. Booker indignantly rejects all accusations and points to ING.
According to Booker, ING is entirely to blame for the fact that it subsequently decided to close down Payvision and that they have written off the entire acquisition price. And now ING would try to put all the garbage on his doorstep, he says.
Rudolf Booker said, that improperly inflating the sale price would be a very serious allegation that he distances himself from. The €350 million ING paid for Payvision would not only have been based on the company’s revenues but would also have accounted for the company’s know-how potential. Allegedly, Payvision had more potential buyers besides ING, which caused a price-increasing effect. Booker argued that ING had access to all relevant data and, under the leadership of the then Chief Risk Officer Steven Van Rijswijk (the current ING CEO), would have done extensive due diligence. This definitly is interesting as in the Austrian court cases the lawyer of Payvision was quick to tell the court that Steven Van Rijswijk is not to be called as a witness as he does not know anything about Payvision.
Pushing Volume With Cybercrime
Criminal records show that there was a close relationship between the Payvision client and cybercrime mastermind Uwe Lenhoff, who died in prison, and Rudolf Booker. Lenhoff – a already convicted criminal by then- became a sales agent of Payvision with the mission to direct more scammers to Payvision to drive up its transaction volume and revenues. It was also Lenhoff who referred convicted cybercrime boss Gal Barak and his scams to Payvision. He also connected Rudolf Booker to Gery Shalon and Vlad Smirnov.
Payvision made million-dollar payments to Gal Barak‘s companies (about 130 mio € stolen money) until shortly before his arrest in early 2019. By that time, Booker and Payvision already knew the money was being stolen from victims of Barak’s broker scams.
Uwe Lenhoff also told business partners that he was pushing sales for Payvision and would be paid for it. Among other things, Lenhoff claimed to be coowner of about 400 apartments in Amsterdam. One of Lenhoff’s closest partners besides Rudolf Booker was the Amsterdam real estate investor Dirk Jan Bakker who also established the contact between Lenhoff and Booker.
We cannot proof that Lenhoff received a portion of the ING purchase price for Payvision as a commission, but he was for sure a driving force behind the high valuation. Uwe Lenhoff has a long history for being quite fiercly in taking money that does not belong to him, it could be a worthwile working hypotheses to assume that part of the purchase price paid by ING went to some common investments of Uwe Lenhoff and Rudolf Booker. But this is just a guess.
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