Since the Dutch banking giant ING announced in October 2021 that it would phase out Payvision, it was clear that at some point, quietly and secretly, the high-risk payment processor founded by Rudolf Booker would disappear. For ING, Payvision, acquired in 2018 under then-CEO Ralph Hamers for a reported €400 million, was a huge financial and reputational flop. Court documents to CEO Andre Valkenburg can no longer be served!
The Payvision disappearance has left hundreds, if not thousands, of scam victims waiting for compensation. For several years, the European Fund Recovery Initiative (EFRI), located in the United Nations city Vienna, has coordinated claims from scam victims who deposited (and lost) money to the scams through Payvision. The lawyers involved have already filed lawsuits against Payvision. Further lawsuits are to follow in Germany as well as in the Netherlands.
The Payvision website was offline today, March 8, 2023. Apparently, the offices in Amsterdam are also likely to be closed. A court summons to the last Payvision CEO, Andre Valkenburg, could not be served at last. In Austria, Payvision and Andre Valkenburg are represented by the renowned law firm Binder Grösswang (website). Inquiries with EFRI’s lawyers have confirmed that recent attempts to serve court summonses on Valkenburg have not worked.
The SLAPP Attacks
Faced with the victims’ lawsuits and the disclosure of Payvision‘s business practices, the management under Rudolf Booker and Andre Valkenburg decided to take action against EFRI with Slapp (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) attacks. They wanted to silence EFRI and its principal, Elfriede Sixt, with lawsuits. This has not been successful so far.
It is a disgracing and unethical approach of ING to ignore the victims of their subsidiary Payvision and to allow victim representatives to be attacked.
Part Of Cybercrime Schemes
Payvision has been an integral part of the international cybercrime scene for years. Convicted investment fraudsters such as Gal Barak have had the stolen deposits of victims of their scams processed through Payvision. Financial market regulators in numerous countries have warned against these scams several times while Payvision continued to process their illicit proceeds. Rudolf Booker, the then CEO of Payvision, had no fear of contact with scammers and cybercrime organizations.
Most recently, an audit report by the Dutch financial market authority exposed the numerous violations of money laundering and financial laws under the leadership of Booker and his team. A report was made to the criminal investigation department. Investigations are still ongoing. Payvision‘s disappearance from the public eye was, therefore, probably a well-planned strategic move.
It remains to be seen how the lawsuits and criminal investigations against Payvision and its former management will turn out. We will stay on the ball.