Gal Barak – The ‘Cat of Sofia’, His Defense Line And His Victims

Elfriede Sixt from EFRI explains the situation with the victims of Gal Barak

EFRI cooordinator Elfriede Sixt interviewed by bTV

Elfriede Sixt, co-founder and coordinator of the European Funds Recovery Initiative (EFRI) spoke with Desislava Rizova, the Bulgarian bTV journalist who made the interview with Gal Barak, the Wolf of Sofia (see the preview here). EFRI represents more than 260 victims of the different Gal Barak and E&G Bulgaria schemes such as XTraderFX, SafeMarkets, OptionStarsGlobal, or CryptoPoint.

In early February 2019, Gal Barak and his German partner Uwe Lenhoff have been arrested. Several more are recorded as suspects in the respective criminal files of this European scam operation with dozens of thousands of victims. Gal Barak was caught and arrested by the Bulgarian police on the run from Bulgaria to Serbia. Barak is currently under house arrest in Sofia and is to be extradited to Austria.

Gal Barak – I am just the “Cat of Sofia” and a scapegoat

The Cat of Sofia?

When asked by the reporter if he is the Wolf of Sofia, Barak downsized himself to the “Cat of Sofia” and pointed to his former friend and partner Ilan Tzorya. As a matter of fact, however, Tzorya made himself available to the authorities voluntarily and has been cooperating with them for months, FinTelegram learned.

FinTelegram had several meetings with Gal Barak and his partners and hence the hard evidence that he is for sure not the “Cat of Sofia“. He actually tried to bribe the FinTelegram CEO when visiting him in Vienna. Barak and his friends offered to fund a jointly operated company with €5 million with the FinTelegram CEO receiving free company shares having the sole authority to spend the millions (read the article here). Moreover, Gal Barak confirmed in writing to FinTelegram that he is in control of the illegal and fraudulent XTraderFX scheme, for example. What’s even more interesting in this context – Barak blamed Ilan Tzorya for taking actions to bring down Barak’s illegal schemes, i.e. Barak himself made Tzorya the good guy fighting the Barak crime.

Gal Barak communication with FinTelegram regarding XTraderFX
Gal Barak communication with FinTelegram regarding XTraderFX

When asked about his former partner Ilan Tzorya, Gal Barak and his partners Gery Shalon and Vladislav Smirnov informed FinTelegram in a joint WhatsApp group that they have not had contact with him for a long time and that they never needed him for doing their illegal business. FinTelegram provided this documentation to the authorities. That said, it was Gal Barak himself that denied the involvement of Tzorya in his scheme and made clear his own responsibility and leadership.

Victims, Funds Recovery And EFRI

In addition to the prosecutors and police, lawyers, accountants, and experts have already been involved with the case in the EU. In her interview with Desislava Rizova, Elfriede Sixt explained the situation with the victims of the Gal Barak schemes and Ilan Tzorya:

For EFRI Ilan Tzorya is a good guy because he delivers information that helps EFRI to recover funds from Gal Barak and his schemes. I also spoke with Gal Barak’s lawyers several times for this purpose and we are in negotiations. EFRI alone represents 260 victims with a Power of Attorney (POA) with a total damage claim volume of €5.9 million.

Elfriede Sixt, EFRI coordinator

It seems to pretty clear that the story of the “Cat of Sofia” doesn’t match reality. It will be up to the courts to find the truth, to judge and sentence the people involved in these schemes. To do so, Gal Barak, Uwe Lenhof and their co-conspirators need to stand up to their responsibility before the respective EU courts. In the very best interest of all their victims and the fight against scams and fraudsters within the EU. The message to them: “Don’t mess around with EU investors.