Another Open Letter to ING and DNB about PAYVISION!

ING is phasing out PAYVISION

Another Open Letter to ING and DNB about PAYVISION!

The phasing out process of PAYVISION ends today (June 30, 2022)!

On October 28, 2021, ING announced that it would start phasing out the business activities of its subsidiary PAYVISION as a payment service provider (PSP) and acquirer. According to the announcement, this was done after a thorough evaluation of all options in the context of the rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive and capital-intensive e-commerce merchant market. ING has concluded that it is not feasible to achieve its ambitions with PAYVISION.

ING also announced that they plan to complete the phase-out process for PAYVISION  by June 30, 2022 (the second quarter of 2022). ING also promised a smooth phase-out for the PAYVISION clients and to keep them informed on the service termination schedule.

The announcement came after PAYVISION’s massive involvement in  European and U.S. fraud schemes.

PAYVISION facilitating European cybercrime schemes

As of September 1, 2020,  a Vienna Criminal Court (122 HV 4/20g) convicted the Israeli Gal BARAK  for serious commercial fraud and money laundering. Gal BARAK was identified as the beneficial owner of the cybertrading scams OptionStarsGlobal, xtraderfx, and safemarkets. These investment scams have victimized tens of thousands of mainly European victims with a total estimated damage of € 110 Mio.

As was outlined in the judgment of the Austrian criminal court, besides the Serbian Global Payment Solutions doo (Montenegro), PAYVISION B.V. Netherlands – a 100% ING subsidiary – was the leading Acquirer between September 2015 to January 2019 for the credit and debit card deposits of the transnational criminal organization of Gal BARAK. PAYVISION laundered more than € 75 Mio of the stolen money via offshore shell companies.

Uwe LENHOFF was the beneficial owner of the cybertrading scams Option888, ZoomTraderGlobal, xmarkets, Tradovest, and Tradeinvest90. He was a friend of Rudolf BOOKER, the founder and ex-CEO of Payvision LENHOFF was found dead in his prison cell in Saarbrücken, thereby escaping accountability for victimizing thousands of older adults. The total damage of his cybertrading scams is estimated to fall short of the € 100 Mio stolen by Gal BARAK.

PAYVISION has laundered more than € 56 Mio of the stolen money for Uwe LENHOFF’s scams since 2014. In July 2021, PAYVISION entered into a reseller agreement with Uwe LENHOFF  for his being such a great connector in the scam industry.

Criminal proceedings in Europe are also underway for the cyber trading scams 24Option, GetFinancial, AlgoTechs/BEALGO, Optionbit, and Optionxp. In all these scams, PAYVISION – the ING subsidiary – did the payment processing and laundered several three-digit million amounts – stolen life savings – which ended up on offshore accounts.

PAYVISION’s participation in U.S. fraud activities

The U.S. payment facilitator AlliedWallet was another fraud facilitating client of PAYVISION. As of August 25, 2021 (Case 1:21-cr.10250-NMG), the U.S. Department of Justice resp. The District of Massachusetts filed wire fraud charges against the AlliedWallet CEO Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, 49, and his accomplices (four people).

Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja was charged with conspiring to deceive banks and credit card companies into processing more than $150 million in credit and debit card payments on behalf of merchants involved in prohibited and high-risk businesses, including online gambling, debt collection, debt reduction, prescription drugs, and payday lending.

Three of the four suspects are arrested by now; Andy Khawaja is on the run.

FinCEN Files

This indictment followed a US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Complaint filed on May 20, 2019, against Allied Wallet for knowingly processing payments for merchants involved in fraud.

The indictment shows that PAYVISION, alongside WIRECARD – the by now exploded German payment processor was the leading Acquirer for Allied Wallet in the U.S. (as well as in Europe). The CEO of WIRECARD awaits his trial in Munich, Germany, and the COO, Jan MARSALEK, is on the run.

According to an article in the Dutch F.D., as of November 11, 2020, PAYVISION also appeared in the FINCEN files handed over to the ICIJ journalists’ collective.

According to those FinCEN files, starting in 2013, employees of Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon warned several times about PAYVISION’s cutting large transactions into smaller amounts for no apparent reason. Such an approach does not necessarily be illegal, but it is not a “business as usual” approach and typically triggers money-laundering alerts. Over several months, PAYVISION transferred tens of millions to a select few of the company’s customers, including Pornhub, one of the largest porn platforms in the world. PAYVISION and Wirecard were big credit/debit card processors for Pornhub – a Porn website accused of promoting sex trafficking, child pornography, and sexual abuse.

T1Payments and PAYVISION

Publicly available civil complaints of high-risk merchants filed against the U.S. payment processor T1 Payments and PAYVISION show that the procedure applied by Allied Wallet and PAYVISION/WIRECARD in processing stolen money for U.S./European scammers was also used by PAYVISION for other high-risk merchants. So, more FTC actions are to be expected.

PAYVISION must have laundered hundreds of millions of stolen money during its existence, and we assume PAYVISION resp. Rudolf BOOKER and his accomplices are on the red-flag list of the U.S. Department of Justice.

 And we love the idea that PAYVISION is stopping doing more harm.

No appropriate action is taken by ING resp. DNB against the founders of PAYVISION

Our issue with this calm phasing-out process ending today is that although ING addressed the problems of PAYVISION’s customers, neither DNB nor ING addressed the open obligations of PAVYISION against the victims of the scams.

By avoiding holding Rudolf BOOKER and his accomplices responsible for the harm done to thousands of European retail customers, both organizations fail to meet their legal and regulatory obligations. ING and DNB allow BOOKER and his accomplices to continue their questionable business activities. Moreover, both organizations are revictimizing thousands of unsuspecting victims by neglecting their claims and right to justice.

The failure of DNB and ING to fulfil their legal and regulatory obligations results in thousands of victims losing their confidence in the European financial and supervisory regime. These European victims – EFRI represents 300 victims – hurt by PAYVISION, have a right to justice.

So we addressed  Steven van Rijswijk (CEO ING Bank N.V.) as well Klaas Knot (President of the Executive Board of De Nederlandsche Bank) in an open letter. Pls, read here.

Three victims registered with EFRI have filed legal claims in Austria against PAYVISION. These claims are continued, of course. We will report soon about the status of these legal claims and the replies of PAYVISION/ING. Stay tuned.