The first day of trial in a landmark cybercrime trial against suspected Israeli scam broker operator Gal Barak. The trial began punctually at 9.30 am in Vienna. The trial was also observed by the Austrian lawyer of Barak’s Russian partner, Vladislav Smirnov. In addition, EFRI Principal Elfriede Sixt was in the courtroom as representative of the aggrieved small investors. The trial is under international scrutiny and is seen as a reference case for further cybercrime charges in the EU.
A Ridiculous and Cynical Defense Pleading
Apart from Gal Barak´s non-guilty pleading, the most astonishing event was definitely the initial defense statement of this attorney Peter Lewisch, partner of one of the most expensive attorneys in Vienna. During the one-hour defense statement, he claimed that the retail investors who invested on these online trading websites are greedy and dumb, and above all gullible enough to actually believe in the promises of the Facebook ads and trust the call center staff. The original words he used are as follows:
Whoever believes that, is an idiot!Peter lewisch, defense attorney of gal barak
It was to be expected that Barak’s defense counsel would deny his client’s guilt. It was not to be expected that Peter Lewisch would call the victims of Barak’s broker scams like XTraderFX, SafeMarkets, Golden Markets, CryptoPoint, or OptionStars stupid people (German: “deppert!”) “who for sure did the “gambling or the betting on these scam websites ” just for the thrill – as these people just “Love the thrill”. In summary, Mr. Lewisch`s performance was disgusting and repulsive.
The additional defense strategy of Barak’s lawyers is apparently to present the above-mentioned broker scams as a betting offer, i.e. a sort of gambling. It would not have been investments and trading that would have been offered to the (stupid) clients, but betting, gambling. Gal Barak admitted to being the owner of the E&G Bulgaria call center in Sofia, Bulgaria, he for sure would not have been involved in the day-to-day trading.
Also, Gal Barak had to admit that he was indeed one of the owners of the scam websites. However, he would never have been involved in the operative business and therefore had not committed any fraud, his defense attorney argued.
Conclusion of the plea which was considered by other lawyers as a bad one:
- the stupid customers and
- FinTelegram and its reports
are actually to blame for the fact that Barak is on trial as a completely innocent person. That sounds convincing, doesn’t it?
Then why have the many millions of more than 30,000 victims in the EU ended up in the accounts of Barak’s offshore companies? Donations from stupid clients or just bets, that is, gambling profits. If everything was so legal, why did they work through illegal payment processors, dummy corporations, offshore companies and trustees? Why were customers’ deposits given false payment references?
Deaths surrounding the trial
Incidentally, there are more and more deaths around the trial against Barak. After his former partner Uwe Lenhoff was found dead in his prison cell two days before the start of the trial, it was announced today that a former Serbian employee also died of heart failure in one of Barak’s illegal boiler rooms three weeks after his statement to the police. At the age of 33.
It continues at the end of July 2020 with the interrogation of some injured customers of Barak’s Scams. These are some of the stupid people whom Barak’s defense lawyer Peter Lewisch blames for their losses. We can be curious to see what these “stupid” people will say. Stay tuned!