Booker and Cheng`s fined for massive KYC-failures!

Payvision settlement agreement

Booker and Cheng`s fined for massive KYC-failures!

On April 5, 2024, the Dutch Prosecutor announced that the criminal charges against Payvision´s board members were settled out of court. 

Booker and his collegue Cheng Liem Li were found to have (2016 – April 2020) structurally and for many years violated the European Know your Customer rules and accepted fines amounting to € 330k.

Based on a criminal investigation triggered in 2020/2021 by the Dutch supervisory authority De nederlandsche Bank (DNB)  the prosecutor found that:

This investigation found that payment service provider Payvision BV conducted inadequate customer due diligence in the years 2016 to April 2020. The company did not sufficiently investigate and establish the identity, beneficial owner, purpose and intended nature of its business relationships. Moreover, there was no ongoing monitoring of the relationships. The firm thus breached the Wwft in several respects.

Our allegations regarding systematic non-adherence to KYC rules for years got confirmed!

The penalty announcement undoubtedly represents positive news for the victims, as it conclusively validates our allegations (Pls read our updated complaint)   confirmation from the Dutch prosecutor.

This outcome is particularly notable considering that Payvision, along with its parent company ING, has consistently denied all allegations in the ongoing civil litigations.

In the criminal proceedings against Gal Barak, Rudolf Booker even falsely claimed to have met the necessary Know Your Customer (KYC) standards in his dealings with BARAK:

Booker and KYC for Barak and lenhoff

The work of the Dutch prosecutor!

We started to send material about the involvement of Payvision in the Barak and Lenhoff´s scams to the Dutch proscutor already on September 16, 2019. We never received a confirmation resp. were contacted about the complaint.

first email to the Dutch prosecutor

But no participation in the scams!

The Dutch prosecutor handling the case, Mark van Driel, believes that Booker and Cheng did not intentionally support the Wolf of Sofia scams—an intriguing perspective. However, based on our findings, we disagree with this assessment. Nevertheless, there is a three-month appeal period for this ‘settlement,’ and we are committed to doing whatever is necessary to seek justice for the tens of thousands of victims harmed by Payvision’s failure to comply with legal anti-money laundering regulations

The conclusion of the case is particularly intriguing since the criminal proceedings against the scammers are ongoing. Hans Dahlgren, the primary liaison between Payvision and Lenhoff’s fraudulent companies, remains at large and the trial is pending. Moreover, investigations continue into the involvement of Gery Shalon, one of the most notorious cybercriminals in recent years. According to Uwe Lenhoff, Payvision also collaborated with him.

Gery Shalon and Rudolf Booker

Way too low penalty!

But for sure the low fine of €330,000 is a shame for both Dutch and European efforts against money laundering. Payvision, a payment service provider regulated in the Netherlands and under the supervision of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) since 2011/2012, facilitated cybercriminals like Gal Barak, Uwe Lenhoff, Gery Shalon, among others, in defrauding innocent European consumers over a span of more than seven years, leading to substantial financial losses and massive mental distress. This  way too low penalty represents a significant setback for European anti-money laundering initiatives. The imposition of such a low fine is not just an insult to the victims but also undermines the authority of European regulatory bodies, especially as they are on the verge of implementing new, stricter anti-money laundering regulations on April 24, 2024.

In an interview with Fintelegram we addressed this issue with clear words.

This evident lax handling of money laundering issues in a country like The Netherlands that is facing significant challenges related to drug trafficking and organized crime, anyway raising concerns about the country’s status and the impact on its rule of law is for sure worrying.  

Hearing as of June 20, 2024

The guilty plea serves as an additional step in our pursuit of fair civil damages for Payvision and ING´s victims . Our efforts will persist unabated. We are scheduled for a hearing at the Amsterdam court on June 20, 2024, where we will present our legal case against Payvision and ING in the Netherlands.