The district court of Saarbrücken sentenced a 29 year old for operating fraudulently cyber trading platforms to 18 years imprisonment.
The district court of Saarbrücken (LG) has recently ruled in one of the largest cyber trading processes in Germany. A 18 year old defendant was charged with commercial gang fraud with fraudulent financial platforms to have caused total damage of a good 30 million euros. The highest loss of a single person amounts to a whopping 5.5 million euros. Approximately 1040 victims always invested their money there in the hope of high, promised profits. As reported by Tagesschau.de, “the money paid in was never traded, it flowed directly into the pockets of the scammers” .
After 18 days of the trial, the Economic Criminal Court of the Saarbrücken Regional Court has now pronounced the verdict. Accordingly, it means for the accused to spend twelve years behind bars in the future. Defense attorney Walter Teusch announced revision. The verdict is not yet final.
The convicted Azem S. was as Co -Head of a Kosovar call center senior member of a gang. As part of a network, he “systematically robbed investors of their money with the help of online portals for highly speculative financial bets” . The cyber trading platforms Option866, Zoomtrader and XMarkets.com were specifically involved in the case.
Telephone agents from south-eastern European call centers repeatedly encouraged investors to inject more money with promises of high returns. They pretended to their victims that they could bet “for example on the course of stock exchange prices” with their deposited money via the platforms . In fact, however, the grants ended up in the pockets of the scammers.
Investigators from Germany and Austria have been paying attention to the network for four years. In the summer 2019 the officials finally raised the call center in Kosovo. The police arrested the meanwhile convicted S. about two months after the raid when he was on summer vacation in Albania.
Head of the gang died under mysterious circumstances in custody
As the alleged head of the gang, the officials suspected a “German who had been involved with online casinos and online poker platforms in the past had made a name. Police special forces arrested him in January 2019 in Austria. He was later extradited to Germany. He died in custody in Saarbrücken in the summer 2020 of a drug overdose. The exact background of his death remains unclear”.
Many of the gang members at large
The officials assign more than 400 members to the fraudulent cyber trading gang led by Azem S. S. is the first convicted member. Charges have been brought against a partner of the convict, Betim T. However, he is currently still in Kosovo. Apparently he will not be extradited. According to information from the Tagesschau, another former telephone adviser from the call center operated by S. in Kosovo is currently in custody in Saarbrücken. He is currently awaiting his indictment. Other call center agents used false identities when interacting with their victims. It is therefore difficult to get hold of them and they are at large abroad. Mohamad S., head of another call center in Prague, has since gone into hiding.
The perpetrators were particularly unscrupulous
In a total of 30 raids in five different European countries, the investigators secured a total of this case 5.1 terabytes of data. The relevant evaluations of the process at the Saarbrücken district court fill 866 files. The indictment alone contains 728 pages. Over 30 witnesses spoke at the trial, including more than 20 Injured. The evidence showed how unscrupulous the cybertrading scammers pulled their scam. They often deprived their victims of all their savings. According to SR, several injured parties lost up to 190.000 Euro.
In a particularly tragic case, an investor took it Life after repeatedly investing a lot of money in vain. Here the SR reported, citing the testimony of an investigator, that the person concerned initially had 180.000 Euro at scam cyber trading platform Option888 deposited.
Once the money was lost, other scammers immediately targeted the man from North Rhine-Westphalia. They promised to get back the lost money. However, he would have to “again invest a low six-digit sum” . The man then borrowed the requested money from friends. After this sum had also been thrown into the sand, the man who had been duped twice apparently saw no way out. As a result, the investigator pointed out that the scam with the alleged “recovery aid” was currently very popular.
LG Saarbrücken spoke of the highest sentence of twelve years in prison Cybertrading fraud from
Heiner Schmidt, presiding judge, emphasized the tricks of the psychologically trained telephone agents in the reasoning for the judgement: “To these Customers were also deliberately driven into over-indebtedness.” S. contributed as one of the two managing directors to the organization and maintenance of business operations. In doing so, he kept a business model geared towards mass fraud of private investors running.
Judge Schmidt justified the maximum penalty ever imposed in Germany in a cybertrading fraud case with the fact that that himself “S. not only guilty in his role as call center boss, but also in individual cases himself participated in direct customer fraud. In a total of eight cases, he credited customers with supposed bonuses or changed deposit limits – all with the intention of enticing customers to make more deposits.”.
Compensation for cheated investors questionable
The SR announced that it was still unclear “how much and whether the Get the injured party back from their money after the verdict. The court ruled that almost 1.3 million euros of Azem S.’s assets should be confiscated”.
Caution with cyber trading investments is still required
The investigators were able to take five online portals offline in the course of the investigation into this case. Nevertheless, according to consumer advocates and investigators, cyber trading fraud is still ongoing with other dubious trading portals. In the confiscated databases, the investigators found references to hundreds of such fake internet portals.