Unauthorized German Payment Services Providers Facilitate Fraud Of Blue Trading And Other Illegal Broker schemes

Illegal German payment services providers facilitate fraud

Over the last couple of months, FinTelegram has been working with authorities and the Organized Crime and Corruption Report Project (OCCRP) to fight the illegal brokerage scene that has cheated tens of thousands of investors around the world out of billions. The U.S. FBI estimates that with binary options alone, investors have lost up to USD 10 billion a year to fraudulent broker schemes. One of the major operators of illegal brokerage schemes is E&G Bulgaria of the now arrested Israeli Gal Barak and his friends Gery Shalon and Vladislav Smirnov. The German Uwe Lenhoff, now in prison, also operated a portfolio of illegal broker schemes via his public-listed Veltyco Group.

Illegal German Payment Services Providers

In the context of these illegal broker schemes, a vast network of illegal (unauthorized) payment service providers (PSP) has been uncovered through which dozens of millions of dollars have been stolen from retail investors around the world. Those unauthorized payment services providers are part of the criminal broker organizations around the illegal broker schemes and facilitate the fraud.

unauthorized German payment services providers facilitate illegal broker schemes

In the course of the investigations by FinTelegram and the authorities, it was established that especially German companies play an important role in the fraud of illegal brokerage schemes. The operators of the illegal broker schemes such as E&G Bulgaria or Uwe Lenhoff and their co-conspirators have, among other things, set up a network of German bogus companies through which funds are systematically received, laundered and forwarded to the operators of the broker schemes or their offshore accounts.

Unauthorized PSPDirectorsBank Name
SecurityPort GmbHIvars FominsPost Bank Cologne
ION & Maga Consulting GmbHIon MagaPostbank Nuernberg
StronIT GmbHJevgenijs BogdanovsPostbank Berlin, DB Privat- und Firmenkundenbank
TrustSecure GmbHSerghei GrodetchiPostbank Cologne
P2P GmbHIgor TschernychBunq B.V.
B2G GmbHOleg Shvartsman, Rainer TreuerSparkasse Koblenz, DB Privat- und Firmenkundenbank
Workplace Consulting GmbHMaksims CelnokovsFidor Bank
FinTechServices GmBHAndis PetersonsGrenke Bank
IntellEstate Bau GmbHYuliia Ivantsiv Postbank Cologne

Customers of illegal broker sites such as Blue Trading, XTraderFX, SafeMarkets, Option888 or TradoVest (to name just a few) are requested to make their bank transfers to the bank accounts of these German companies. They then pass the money on to the bank accounts of the operators of these illegal broker schemes after deducting bold commissions.

The German authorities are now aware of this and are investigating it. In December 2018, for example, the German financial market supervisory authority BaFin requested the Cologne-based StronIT GmbH to discontinue its illegal payment transaction services in connection with Blue Trading.

BaFin order against illegal payment services operator StronIT
StronIT – part of the organized financial crime network

A particular focus of the illegal payment service providers is the German city Cologne, the hometown of Uwe Lenhoff, who is now in prison. Over the past two decades, Lenhoff and his co-conspirators have established a network of illegally operating gambling and brokerage sites and, among other things, has stolen hundreds of millions of investors via the Veltyco Group, a public-listed company he founded in 2016. Authorities charge Lenhoff with fraud, financial crime, and money laundering.

B2G GmbH in Cologne

In addition to StronIT GmbH, which has already been identified by BaFin as an unauthorized payment services provider, the B2G GmbH in Cologne is one of the largest illegal payment transaction service providers for illegal brokers. The company is managed by the German Rainer Treuer (here LinkedIn profile) and the Russian Oleg Shvartsman. The latter is allegedly a former Russian spy and a sort of very strange guy – read this article in the New York Times for example.

B2G GmbH directors Oleg Shvartsman and Rainer Treuer
The directors of B2G GmbH

According to a slideshare presentation shared via LinkedIn, B2G GmbH acts as a financial advisor and helps companies to make money. It is said that B2G GmbH has brokered 300 companies in its network and more than EUR 790 million. The question is how much of these 790 million was raised for these illegal broker schemes like Blue Trading.

In addition to B2G GmbH, a P2P GmbH, which is also located in Cologne, also stands out as an illegal payment service provider. P2P GmbH collects investors’ money via bank accounts in Germany and the Netherlands and transfers it to illegal brokers.

In addition to the illegal German payment service providers, we have also drawn the attention of some companies and persons associated with the UK and Estonia, such as the Vilardes Group Ltd around the Estonian Kirill Agranovsky. Together with his mother Elvira Aganovskaya. Kirill Agranovsky (aka Kiril Paksjutov) runs companies in the UK and Estonia. A detailed report on this group of illegal payment service providers will be published shortly after further research.

File Claims And Information With EFRI

If you are a Blue Trading investor and/or you have information on this illegal broker and its partner Onyx Capital and/or the people behind the scheme we would be more than happy to receive your claim and/or information via our EFRI Campaign site: