Vienna Cybercrime Trials – Follow the money and compensate victims

Gal Barak and Marina Barak and their money laundering network
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The Israeli scammer and cybercriminal Gal Barak was sentenced to four years in prison on September 1, 2020, for investment fraud and money laundering. Now the victims of the various scams of his Bulgarian-Israeli cybercrime organization can assert their claims. The money for this must now be found. It has been laundered with the help of negligent or intentional banks and payment processors like Payvision. The authorities followed the money and recorded its trace in detail. Barak’s partners Gery Shalon and Vladislav Smirnov were also uncovered.

The Money Laundering

The starting point for the money laundering of the cybercrime organization of E&G Bulgaria are for example the regular credits of the Dutch ING subsidiary and payment processor Payvision, which handled credit card payments for the scam XTraderFX among others. As a case in point of the money laundering cycle to transfer assets from the victims to the scam operators, the investigating authorities cite transactions between December 17, 2018, and January 21, 2019, in the criminal act (ON 611).

  1. In December 2018, Payvision pays some €2 Mio to GPAY LTD, which officially acts as the operating company of the broker scam XTraderFX.
  2. Upon receiving the funds from Payvision GPay transfers €600,000 to SEAGULF LTD,
  3. From there, the funds are redistributed as covert dividends to the defendants Gal BARAK, Vladislav SMIRNOV, and Gabriel “Gaby” SHALON.
  4. Between 4 to 9 January 2019, payments in the total amount of €500,000 have been made to WAVE MARKET LTD, a company beneficially owned and controlled by Gal BARAK and his wife Marina BARAK.
  5. On 18.01.2019, WAVE MARKET transferred €600.000,- to the private account of Gal BARAK.
  6. On 21.01.2019 € 550.000,- will be transferred to the account of the Bulgarian FISHER PROPERTIES LTD, a real estate company beneficially owned and controlled by Gal BARAK and his wife Marina BARAK (formerly Marina ANDREEVA).

The real estate company

FISHER PROPERTIES was located at the address of E&G Bulgaria and received monthly consulting fees of €14,000 from E&G Bulgaria, in addition to the cost of purchasing properties.

The payments were handled by Barak’s right-hand man, the Israeli Itzik Gellet, and his secretary Gabriela Peeva. Itzik Gellet is, along with his principals Gal and Marina, one of the other accused in this criminal case.

Compensate victims

The money of the defrauded victims was thus also invested in real estate property in Bulgaria. Since Bulgaria is a European Union country the requirements of the victims from the European Union can be satisfied quite also with the real estate properties in Bulgaria. The European Funds Recovery Initiative (EFRI) will apply for this together with its lawyers.

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