It seems that the German fintech and payment processor scene is run by secret agents and spies. Especially such agents who are said to have a close relationship to the Russian secret services. In this secret service-driven German fintech scene, it comes as no surprise that the topic of illegal payment services and money laundering seems to be its driving forces. Russia’s secret services seem to maintain good relationships with the German fintech and payment processor ecosystem.
Jan Marsalek and Wirecard
In recent days and weeks, the proximity of former Wirecard director and COO Jan Marsalek to the Russian secret service has attracted international media attention. According to the Financial Times report From payments to armaments: the double life of Wirecard’s Jan Marsalek, the latter is said to have bragged about these Russian connections, presenting secret papers containing the formula of the Russian nerve gas Novichok, among other things.
Oleg Shvartsman and B2G
At least one other man with alleged links to the Russian secret service is active in the illegal German payment scene – the Russian Oleg Shvartsman. He claimed already in 2007 that he close relationship with Russian authorities and secret services and sort of worked for them in the financial business in the West. In 2007, the New York Times published the article Former Russian Spies Are Now Prominent in Business. Shvartsman was taken as a reference model by the NYT:
Mr. Shvartsman suggested that he had F.S.B. backing for corporate raiding, a term that is often more than just a figure of speech in Russia’s bare-knuckle business world.New York Times report (link)
In fact, this very Oleg Shvartsman had been working for the last couple of years together with his German partner Rainer Treuer as director of the unauthorized and thus illegally operating payment processor B2G GmbH, a limited liability company registered in Cologne, Germany. The German B2G also controls other companies in different EU countries and is specialized in facilitating scams and cybercrime transactions with its payment services.
Among the clients of B2G are the international top scams like those of the Israeli Gal Barak, who is currently on trial in Vienna for this. Especially for bank transfers of potential customer victims of these scams B2G is available. Another former client of B2G‘s, the alleged cybercriminal kingpin German Uwe Lenhoff was found dead in his prison cell in early June 2020.
Wirecard and B2G
At the moment it can only be speculated whether and if how good Jan Marsalek and Oleg Shvartsman know each other and/or are linked businesswise. At least B2G and Wirecard have partly had the same scammers as clients. Both Barak and Lenhoff used their payment services for example.
While Wirecard handled the credit card payments for these scams, B2G processed the bank wires. A perfect complement of two German payment processors under the leadership of Russian agents. Who still needs James Bond movies if she can watch German fintech reality?