COINTED AND OPTIOMENT – A FORENSIC VIEW ON ONE OF EUROPE’S LARGEST CRYTPO-CRIME CASES

With COINTED’s bankruptcy, it is essential to take a look at the global network of people, companies, and schemes to grasp the big picture. It would be completely abridged to look at the Austrian COINTED GmbH on a stand-alone basis. If one reads through COINTED’s “Transparency Report” published in the course of the company’s ICO’s, one gets a rough idea of the complexity behind COINTED. Unfortunately, the transparency report conceals many things and contains false as well as misleading information. The wrong reporting of the COINTED group was one of the main criticisms of the company. However, COINTED always referred criticism to the area of envy and liars. It turns out, however, that the COINTED people lied to the public on many points.


Many millions in a few months

The legal entity COINTED GMBH was founded in November 2016 and filed for bankruptcy in October 2018. Before the establishment of the limited liability company, COINTED was run as OG (partnership). The domain www.cointed.com was registered in November 2015 by Christopher RIEDER and thus we can take this date as the beginning of the COINTED story. In the almost two years of its existence, the people around the founders Christopher RIEDER and Wolfgang THALER have recruited many millions of investors. They were joined by Charli AHO and Daniil ORLOV, who were responsible for the crypto mining business.

In the crypto-mining business alone, we have received copies of invoices of just under USD 25 million, which were processed via strange company structures in Malta and Switzerland and signed off by Charli AHO in July 2017, for example. This is not mentioned either in the transparency report or anywhere else.

Invoice for crypto-mining servers
Invoice for crypto-mining servers approved by Charli AHO
Invoice for crypto-mining servers approved by Charli AHO
Invoice for crypto-mining servers approved by Charli AHO

The administrator of COINTED and the investigating authorities will have a lot to deal with here.

COINTED and OPTIOMENT

In addition, Christopher RIEDER is considered to be one or even the mastermind behind the OPTIOMENT crypto fraud case, which was launched at the beginning of 2016 (domain www.optioment.com was registered via Panama in January 2016). More than 10,000 investors allegedly invested around 12,500 Bitcoins into the OPTIOMENT scheme, which amounted to almost USD 250 million at the time of the collapse of the system at the end of 2017 (at that time the BTC rate was just under USD 20,000). How high the loss actually is for the OPTIOMENT investors cannot be said at the current state of the investigations. In addition, many investors did not even report because they invested untaxed money.

Optioment and Cointed Payment ChannelEvidently, the COINTED organization of RIEDER & Co was used for the processing of the OPTIOMENT investors’ funds. Via the COINTED’s crypto-ATM’s, investor funds were exchanged from FIAT into crypto and then sent into the black hole of the OPTIOMENT scheme. After the fraud became known, Christopher RIEDER disappeared on a long business trip and is currently allegedly in Turkey. RIEDER did not meet two appointments with the investigating authorities for questioning.

The police carried out two house raids in COINTED’s offices. The acquired data are currently still being evaluated by the authorities. In view of the insolvency, the potential damages of more than EUR 100 million and thousands of victims, an acceleration of the investigations is urgently recommended.

After the disappearance of Christopher RIEDER, Charli AHO and Daniil ORLOV like to point out that they were also cheated by RIEDER and are therefore to be regarded as victims. In view of the company constructions and documents, however, this role of victim is certainly not valid. On the contrary!

Hidden Company Structures

Parallel to COINTED, Charli AHO, Daniil ORLOV, and Eduard ORLOFF started building up a different construct with companies in the United Kingdom, Malta, Switzerland, Denmark, and Austria together with their respective families in the spring of 2016 when investor money began to flow into the COINTED and OPTIOMENT schemes. Eduard ORLOFF, Daniil ORLOV’s father and manager in COINTED, has launched a luxury brand with the House of ORLOFF. The domain www.houseoforloff.com was registered via Denmark (!) in May 2016 by Daniil ORLOV.

COINTED investors report that allegedly funds from COINTED or crypto investors have flowed into this House of ORLOFF. Sometimes desperate investors and customers of COINTED come forward who have their money or at least want to talk – but COINTED and people have disappeared.

Already in May 2017, before the start of the COINTED ICO, the AHO’s and the ORLOV’s founded the BITBROTHERS HOLDING LIMITED and the BITBROTHERS LIMITED in Malta. We have invoices, documents, and receipts which show that these companies have been involved in transactions with Crypto-ATM’s and Crypto-Miners. There are no references to this in the transparency report. These companies were concealed from investors. The Austrian BITBROTHERS GMBH was registered in the commercial register at the beginning of October 2018. Shareholders and managing directors are all former COINTED people. Details will follow in another report.

Old friends

The Austrian Roman SCHMATZER, a long-time business partner of Charli AHO and Daniil ORLOV, plays an interesting role in the COINTED scheme. Witnesses have confirmed to us in writing that they are aware of the fact that Roman SCHMATZER still uses COINTED’s crypto mining servers and is also active in the crypto ATM business of the former COINTED. Until recently, Roman SCHMATZER also presented himself as CEO of the ORLOFF Group including telephone number and address Tuchlauben 7a in the center of Vienna. BITBROTHERS GMBH and the legal representatives of Christopher RIEDER and Charli AHO – the law firm PETSCHE POLLAK – also reside at this address.

Roman Schmatzer carries the House of Orloff logo as his Facebook profile
Roman Schmatzer carries the House of Orloff logo as his Facebook profile picture

After our first reporting, the Facebook profile of SCHMATZER was cleaned up. Obviously, the connection to the House Of ORLOFF is not wanted in the current situation. Roman SCHMATZER still proudly carries the logo of the House of ORLOFF as his profile picture. According to insiders the contact to the ORLOV family is still very close. He might be something like the manager of the COINTED assets and manager of the House of ORLOFF. On the different Facebook pages of the ORLOFF products, you will find the contact data of Roman SCHMATZER and the address Tuchlauben 7a is provided. Under the provided domain www.globe-austria.at you can find the website of a GLOBE DEVELOPMENT GMBH on which the products of the House of ORLOFF are offered (license provided by the Denish Ciel & Co). These products are also offered on the Facebook page of the company.

House of ORLOFF products on Facebook
House of ORLOFF products on Facebook

It can be seen from the company register that Roman SCHMATZER has been a partner in the now insolvent GLOBE DEVELOPMENT GMBH since 2010. Daniil ORLOV is acting as the company’s CEO and holds 5% of the share capital. SCHMATZER was allegedly the financier for this company, which obviously acted as a kind of forerunner for the House of ORLOFF. The role of Roman SCHMATZER will have to be questioned in the course of the bankruptcy proceedings. There are so many yet unanswered questions.

If you have any information regarding OPTIOMENT, COINTED, or House of Orloff’s we would be more than happy to receive them. Please email to office[at]fintelegram.com or provide your story using our form or simply send a message via our anonymous whistleblower system.

[to be continued]