It was early 2019 when a year-long investigation by law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of two cybercrime masterminds, Uwe Lenhoff and Gal Barak. Both were business partners of Rudolf Booker‘s high-risk payment processor Payvision with their scams. Lenhoff was even a sales agent for Payvision.
Gal Barak/Uwe Lenhoff were the beneficial owners of the online scams optionstars/optionStarsGlobal, xtraderfx, goldenmarkets, option888, zoomTrader/zoomTraderGlobal, Tradovest, Tradeinvest90, safemarkets.
Now the Dutch lawyer Marius Hupkes is taking action against Payvision in Amsterdam on behalf of scam victims.
The EFRI Mission
Since 2018, the European Fund Recovery Initiative (EFRI), founded by the certified auditor and tax advisor Elfriede Sixt, has represented victims of scams by Uwe Lenhoff, Gal Barak, and other scam operators. Over the years, Sixt has established an international network of lawyers for the legal representation of victims in various jurisdictions.
In doing so, the victims, coordinated by EFRI, initiated legal actions against Payvision and its parent ING. In its extensive investigations, EFRI has gathered comprehensive information evidence, and witness statements. EFRI established detailed reports. This vast information pool serves as the legal basis for victims’ claims.
The Crime Scene
The criminal files tell the whole story and expose that Payvision and its management under CEO Rudolf Booker were aware of the fraudulent nature of their clients’ businesses. They were caught red-handed. Despite numerous warnings from financial market regulators, high chargeback fines levied by VISA/Mastercard, massive fraud complaints by the tens of thousands of victims, Payvision continued to process the funds deposited by victims to the various scams and laundered them for the scammers. Booker was even on vacation with Lenhoff and joined his birthday party (only few weeks before Lenhoff got arrested).
For Payvision, these scams were a profitable business with high processing fees. In addition, the Amsterdam-based payment processor also worked for the operators of online gambling and online porn. This dirty business did not stop the Dutch banking giant ING from buying Payvision in 2018 at a valuation of €360 million. Due diligence on the acquisition must have been done with eyes closed.
The CEO at the time, Ralph Hamers, also had himself celebrated for the acquisition as a digital visionary. However, ING had to close Payvision as early as 2022. Apparently, the business was too dirty after all. ING sunk half a billion euros into learning this dirty lesson!
Payvision and its former management are under criminal investigation for money laundering and violations of financial laws. Former ING CEO Ralph Hamers is also under investigation concerning money laundering.
The Experienced Lawyer
Victims of former Payvision customers want their money back from Payvision or ING. And rightly so. Anyone who knowingly facilitates fraudsters’ business is liable under civil and criminal law.
The Amsterdam lawyer Marius Hupkes will now explain this to ING, Payvision, and their lawyers in native Dutch. Hupkes has extensive experience fighting scammers and has had impressive success restituting money from Israeli scam schemes in Cyprus. This experience will certainly help him.