Interesting German-Lithuanian Compliance Dispute about Wirecard and fintech regulation
The spot is on Lithuania! The Financial Times reported that German prosecutors suspect that more than €100M was stolen from Wirecard via the licensed Lithuanian Finolita Unio. Via this fintech, at least €35M was said to have flowed to fugitive ex-Wirecard executive Jan Marsalek and another €65M to the now insolvent company oCap (previously Senjo Trading) in Singapore. Both Finolita Unio and oCap are part of the Senjo Group, one of Wirecard's most important partners in Asia, and received a loan of €350M from the latter. Finolita Unio CEO Danas Oliskevicius rejects the accusations and blames the German BaFin.
Wirecard, Finolita Unio, and the Lithuanian Connection
In our researches on scam-facilitating payment processors, Finolita Unio UAB, regulated by the Bank of Lithuania with authorization code LB000490, came to our attention only once as a payment facilitator in the GlobalSpotFX scam with the Estonian Woodstock OÜ (report here). The Financial Times reports that Finolita Unio is part of Senjo Group, a former Wirecard partner through which hundreds of millions have flowed and vanished. More than €100M have been processed through its Lithuanian subsidiary.
GlobalNetInt CEO launched new financial services venture Findiban
Liudvikas Kulikauskas, founder, CEO, and shareholder of GlobalNetInt UAB (GNI), an e-Money Institution (EMI) regulated by the Bank of Lithuania with authorization code LB000434, has founded a payment processor Ifind MB d/b/a Findiban (www.findiban.com), together with his wife, Egle Kulikauskiene. The company is apparently positioned as a high-risk payment processor, offering businesses a range of financial services, including SEPA IBAN account, white-label FinTech services, or credit card processing.
Regulated Lithuanian scam-facilitator Epayblock lost two top managers
We brought a Request 4 Information (R4I) regarding Epayblock a few days ago because we want to know more about the e-Money institution regulated by the Bank of Lithuania with authorization code LB001911. The reason for this R4I was that illegal Lithuanian payment providers such as Skylas, Merelita, or Ristema are involved in currently active broker scams. These companies launder money through their bank accounts at Epayblock. Upon our R4I, we received the information that two top managers had already left the company several months ago.
CNMV warns against Investflow broker scam with Lithuanian payment processors
CNMV issued an investor warning against the broker scam InvestFlow a/k/a Invest Flow (www.invest-flow.io and www.investflow.trade). The scam is allegedly operated by Seabreeze Partners Ltd, which is registered in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Besides, the CNMV has also issued warnings against the broker scams Capital Pro Investments and EverestBTC. However, these are currently no longer active. At Investflow, we have discovered Piastrix and the Lithuanian duo of Epayblock and Ristema as payment processors.
Bruc Bond and the crumbling Israeli FinTech empire
The two Israeli FinTech entrepreneurs Eyal Nachum and Tamir Zolovsky are not having a good time right now. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, their two licensed EU e-Money Institutions Bruc Bond and International Fintech saw their licenses terminated. In the case of Bruc Bond because of systematic compliance violations and problems with money laundering. Nachum, Zoltovsky. and their various payment processors have a long track record in the scam area.
Dear Bank of Lithuania – please explain your situation with International Fintech!
According to reports by Lithuanian journalist Vakaris Deksnys, the Bank of Lithuania has terminated the license of the International FinTech UAB of Israelis Eyal Nachum and Tamir Zoltovsky without providing a reason. It already happened in July 2020. No statement was given by the regulator on this matter as it would be necessary and required. That's a strange approach. How can a regulated company simply disappear form an EU regulator's list without further explanation?
Breaking News – Notorious International Fintech no longer has a Lithuanian EMI license
The International FinTech UAB of the Israelis Eyal Nachum and Tamir Zoltovsky has no more license in Lithuania. Thus, within a few months, the two Israeli payment pundits have lost both regulated companies in Lithuania. Already in April 2020, the Bank of Lithuania withdrew the license of Bruc Bond (formerly Moneta International) due to systematic violations of the compliance guidelines and problems with money laundering. At present, it is not clear why International Fintech has also lost its license.
In the last few weeks, we have noticed, based on reports of scam victims and whistleblowers, that more and more payments of scams and investment schemes are processed via MisterTango. The "MisterTango" brand is operated by Secure Nordic Payments UAB, regulated by the Bank of Lithuania. The company was fined by the Lithuanian regulator in October 2019 for non-compliance with money laundering (AML) regulations.