As many of you readers might already know, in the end of 2016 OneCoin had to quit publishing any bank account information because the banks in question were immediately alerted about the accounts related to the international ponzi-pyramid scam. This usually led quite fast to bank account to be frozen or at least investigated by the bank due money laundering suspicion. The fastest freeze of an account happened in about 24 hours after OneCoin had released the account details.
Supposedly the everlasting problems with bank accounts led the scammers to open alternative routes to scam money from victims. These bank account details were not easily accessible by logging in to the back office online. Instead the information had to be acquired from some sort of trusted source. A trusted source was a OneCoin scammer or an IMA (Independent Marketing Associate) that the company trusted or a third party company providing bank account details to the victims via IMA's.
However, keeping those bank accounts hidden was not so simple as there was masses of greedy MLM people trying to become millionaires. There also has been some good samaritans snooping around information about the scam. Hence there has been bank account details leaking to the Internet every now and then.
Trade Solutions Group
Trade Solutions Group was a company providing bank account information to OneCoin victims via various websites. These websites were designed to give specific instructions how to transfer money in exchange for a membership in OneCoin.
The CEO of Trade Solutions Group was and still is Herve Lacorne. On his LinkedIn profile Lacorne lists as his specialities "global payments, foreign exchange, trade finance, Technology". He has kept his distance to OneCoin and has been rarely seen among prominent promoters of the scam. Interestingly Lacorne goes way back with Chris Principe, who has had an affection towards OneCoin for years.
|Chris Principe and Herve Lacorne|
Chris Principe has been featuring as a speaker at numerous OneCoin events, giving his blessing to the scheme and going as far as publishing an awkward issue of his Financial IT advertorial magazine that was only designed to be used as a marketing tool of the scam. On his resume at Remote.com Principe lists Transaction Banking of Trade Solutions Group starting from June 2014 and lasting to the present.
|Chris Principe on Remote.com (screencap taken 12 April, 2019.|
|Juha Parhiala, Herve Lacorne, Sebastian Greenwood and the "number 1 chryptocurrency".|
"When a government decides to devalue their currency everybody gets hurt. If you're in OneCoin your value stays true. You don't lose your value."
– Chris Principe
"If you look at the journey that has happened over the last year and a half with OneCoin, it's amazing... er, quickly... and the performance of this currency and company. And this is all to the credit of Mr Juha, Mr Sebastian and Dr. Ruja that have done an outstanding job in building a huge community, and building the future of the currency, the future of payment."
– Herve Lacorne
Although Lacorne hasn't been much of a public figure of OneCoin, there is at least one event in Cambodia in 2016 where Lacorne was speaking very fondly about OneCoin besides Principe. Here's the whole event on YouTube:
– I have also downloaded the video in case it gets removed from YouTube.
But let's go back to Trade Solutions Group and to the money transfers.
In the late 2016 several websites were found that were providing information to OneCoin victims about how to proceed with payments in order to purchase various packages the scam had to offer. Several (if not all) of the domains were registered to Trade Solutions Group.
I believe none of those websites are reachable anymore. It's also unclear how long these websites were operational and how successful they were at channelling the money flow. Nevertheless, the purpose of these websites was very clear – to offer an additional banking route to scam money towards OneCoin.
|Screencap from the comments section of BehindMLM|
The websites didn't offer an online service of payment but generated an invoice instead, directing to a certain bank to proceed with a payment. There were also different websites depending on the currency used.
Before an invoice were to be generated one had to agree with the following terms specifically forbidding the use of word "OneCoin" while organising the payment:"I understand I am not purchasing an investment of any kind. I understand this is solely for the purchase of an education package(s). I understand that I am NOT ALLOWED to use the words : One Coin, Bit Coin, Digital, Crypto, Currency, Investment on ANY section of my purchase process or my money will be rejected. I acknowledge that doing so may cause my purchase to be rejected and my funds may be returned to me. I agree to leave all fields blank under the notes and description/name section of my purchase process when submitting: a bank wire, an ACH, or deposit at a branch. I understand I am not required to state anything so there's no reason to state unnecessary details. If I do have to state the purpose of my purchase or transaction I will just state "Education Course". If I am asked by any bank employee what the purpose of my transaction is, I will be truthful and tell them that I am purchasing education materials. If I violate any of these conditions I understand that I will not be allowed to utilize this domestic purchase system any longer. Tick the box to confirm that you have read and agreed to the above conditions. YES I have reviewed all information submitted in this form and agree that all information is correct. I understand that all communication will be sent to the email address I have provided and I should check my email regularly for updates and information."– Well, why would Trade Solutions Group / Herve Lacorne insist following these kind of terms?
A sample of an account and instructions used:
BANK ACCOUNT INFO FOR WIRE - DO NOT SHARE THIS INFORMATION, IT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGEBeneficiary Bank: ANZ Bank, MelbourneBeneficiary Bank SWIFT Code: ANZBAU3MBeneficiary: Compass Global Holdings Suite 33, 650 George St Sydney NSW 2000Beneficiary Account No.: 531160EUR00001Intermediary Bank: Deutsche Bank, FrankfurtIntermediary Bank SWIFT Code: DEUTDEFFXXXAdditional Information: Ref. ML-Moonlearning (your invoice number)SEND in EUR and DO NOT CONVERTInstructions are only usable for EURO transfersSend by "international wire" if unable to send by using Euroland national system
Account name: Compass Global Holdings Client AccountMacquarie Bank Limited Level 5, 1 Martin Place Sydney, NSW 2000BSB:182 800Acc: 10229427Swift: MACQAU2SXXXRef: ACCT488656 - (Client Name) - Order #1000000012 (invoice number)Beneficiary address: Suite 33, Level 3 650 George Street, World Square Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
– Apparently at least some of the payments were directed to a "client account" of Compass Global Holdings.
This sample instructs to address the payment to CoPilot Ventures Fund II:
BANK ACCOUNT INFO FOR WIRE - DO NOT SHARE THIS INFORMATION, IT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Beneficiary: CoPilot Ventures Fund IIBeneficiary Address: 165 Horton Ave, Lynbrook, NY 11563Beneficiary Phone: 516-400-9770Beneficiary Bank: BB&TBeneficiary Bank Account Number: 256649934Beneficiary Bank Routing Number: 053101121Beneficiary Bank SWIFT Code: BRBTUS33Beneficiary Bank Address: 200 West Second Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, USA
I also recall one instruction – it was maybe for Vietnamese people – that offered only a phone number to a Asian woman to reach in order to acquire further instructions how to operate towards payment.
Trade Solutions Groups on LinkedIn.
Life after OneCoin
I guess that after Principe saw the success of OneCoin he got inspired to start a business of his own. A "referral company" called Solidus was launched somewhere in mid 2018. He even chose to appoint his old buddies from OneCoin, Jorma Pallari and Juha Parhiala, as ambassadors of Solidus. Juha Parhiala was touted as the top earner of OneCoin/OneLife when the pyramid was still blooming.
|Chris Principe the CEO of Solidus and the Ambassadors, Jorma Pallari and Juha Parhiala.|
And what about Herve Lacorne? According to BehindMLM's post about Solidus on September 18, 2018:
"Two months ago Chris Principe interviewed Herve Lacorne, then CEO of WinstantPay. The interview itself is nothing remarkable, but a few months later WinstantPay has emerged as Solidus Global’s payment processor. Since then Lacorne appears to have been downgraded to WinstantPay’s Chief Innovative Officer."
I haven't followed Solidus much. They have organised weekly webinars that haven't had much audience, maybe only twenty or so people attending. The webinars that I attended were brief and more or less awkward with nothing much to say. It seems that Solidus hasn't exactly been a gold mine so far. The Alexa rating of the website isn't flattering, which indicates that there isn't much traffic to the website:
|Screencap taken 15 April, 2019.|
Maybe it's not just me who wouldn't recommend even to a worst enemy anything these people were offering?