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Update on Gal Barak and other CyberScammers – it’s time to fight them

Last updated on August 5, 2019

In the last few days, FinTelegram has reported on its fight against the Israeli #cyberscammer Gal Barak. He has defrauded tens of thousands of retail investors with his broker scams XTraderFX, SafeMarkets, OptionStarsGlobal or Golden Markets. Moreover, he also operates the illegal boiler rooms behind the broker schemes via his E&G Bulgaria EOOD. The schemes and boiler rooms cause European victims dozens of millions of damage. His partners in this #CyberScam network are Bulgarian Marina Andreeva, Israeli Gery (Gabi) Shalon, accused in the US of other cybercrime crimes, and Russian Vladislav Smirnov.

Regulator call them scammers and issue investor warnings

Against all identified broker scams of the Barak network, supervisory authorities in different regulatory perimeters issued investor warnings and warned of the scammers. The UK Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Center in UK, also warns of boiler room fraud like E&G Bulgaria and their subsidiaries on the Balkans. These boiler rooms are disguised as marketing agencies or business process outsourcing (BPO) providers. Former employees, however, report to FinTelegram that they called investors and lured money out of them for the broker scams.

In our EFRI campaigns, hundreds of defrauded retail investors have registered and provided EFRI with evidence and the Power of Attorney (POA) to recover their stolen money from the broker scams and their co-conspirators. Gal Barak has confirmed the operation of these broker scams to FinTelegram in writing.

That said its pretty obvious that there is no legal doubt at all that the operation of these broker scam was illegal. There is also no doubt that these broker scams have caused mass damage to retail investors.

Defamation complaint

Recently, the Austrian lawyers of Gal Barak and his partner Marina Andreeva deposited a complaint with a German hosting partner of FinTelegram regarding alleged defamation. With reference to the general terms and conditions of the hoster as well as the purported legal responsibility of a hosting company, the lawyer demanded that the reporting on Gal Barak and Marina Andreeva to be deleted. Otherwise, he may have to file a lawsuit against the hoster, the lawyer said.

Gal Barak with Marina Andreeva complain about defamation

The claim was submitted by Ernst Huber of the renowned Viennese law firm Cerva Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati (CHSH). The firm is known to be one of the most expensive addresses.

Where does the money for expensive lawyers come from?

Gal Barak and Marina Andreeva and their accomplices have enough money. That’s sure. The money has been stolen from retail investors in Europe and is therefore dirty money. They use it to retain their lawyers which are forced by law to check the origin of their clients’ funds. In this respect, lawyers are subject to the relevant money laundering regulations. We are convinced that the CHSH law office has therefore properly checked the origin of the funds at Gal Barak and Marina Andreeva.

At this point, we would like to point out that the good law firms in Israel – the home country of Gal Barak – do not accept any known #CyberScammers as clients for ethical and legal reasons. We would also like to mention that the worldwide fraud with binary options and broker scams has long triggered a fierce public debate. The Times of Israel calls the industry of Gal Barak and other scammers a disgrace to Israel. In the USA, operators of broker scams are currently being indicted and sentenced to heavy fines and imprisonment. The threat to retail investors posed by these cyber scams has long been recognized.

FinTelegram Response

FinTelegram has submitted a response to its hosting partner. This can be downloaded here in German. Like all FinTelegram reports, our response is solely based on the verified information we received directly from Gal Barak, his existing and former partners, employees and victims. We do not have access to “secret files” as claimed by the lawyers. As victims, however, we have access to criminal records, as do all other victims.

We have also offered the hoster to move the remaining pages and the domain to another hoster if the risk is regarded too high. Already today the FinTelegram websites are mirrored across several offshore hosters and different domains in order to be prepared against every attack by the scammers. In this respect, the transfer of website and domain would not be an issue. We want to protect our partners from these scammers and their expensive lawyers in the best possible way.

Media in various countries such as Israel, Bulgaria, Georgia or Germany have already reported on Gal Barak and referred to his illegal activities and official investigations. Gal Barak is a person of public interest. And a person of the highest interest to the European criminal authorities.

No need for action the hoster says

Upon examination of the case by the hosters’ legal department, we received the answer today that they see no reason to pursue the case or to request FinTelegram to delete articles let alone move domain or website. They would be more than happy to keep FinTelegram as its customer. Many thanks for this support! Together we can take action in the EU against this Cyberscammers. No room should be given to these to unfold their criminal activities.

Nevertheless, we will continue to mirror our websites and domains through various hosters. In addition, other blog operators have also offered to take over FinTelegram articles. So there is no reason to worry that FinTelegram could be brought down by #DDOS attacks or expensive lawyers.

Conclusion – A Scammer must be called a scammer

An EU arrest warrant was issued in early 2019 against Gal Barak after months of investigation into urgent suspicions of financial crime, money laundering, and commercial fraud. Requested by the Austrian Public Prosecutor’s Office. According to FinTelegram’s documents, similar investigations are also underway in Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and other countries.

Someone who has admitted in writing that he operates broker sites that have been labeled illegal scams by financial regulators (such as the UK Financial Conduct Authority or the Austrian FMA) is a scammer. Someone who steals money from retail investors with these broker scams is a fraudster. Someone who operates illegal boiler rooms in Bulgaria and the Balkans and cheats on retail investors with illegal cold calls (not permitted by law in the EU) and lies for money can also be called a perpetrator.

Gal Barak and his partners engage in all three areas. They operate illegal and fraudulent broker scams and illegal boiler rooms and use their resources to steal money from retail investors. He is one of the really big and dangerous cyberscammers.

What credit damage can you do to a scammer? Should we call them out publicly? Yes, absolutely! These people work on the black side of the economy and society and earn millions with their illicit businesses. They ruin the Internet and people’s trust in the financial world. They steal money from small investors. They should be chased and punished.

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