URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Liberty Reserve Payment Processor Offline Amid Reports Of Arrest Of Operator In Spain On Money-Laundering Charges

breakingnews72URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Costa Rica-based Liberty Reserve, a payment processor favored by HYIP scammers and other criminals, is offline — and there are reports that its operator is under arrest in Spain on money-laundering charges.

“We lost Huge $$$,” a poster on the MoneyMakerGroup Ponzi forum complained. The poster’s forum signature was advertising AdHitProfits, with a pitch of “125% – Superfast Earning.” It also was promoting GoldAllianceFunds, with a pitch of “4.5% for 45 Business Days.”

From The Tico Times, a newspaper published in Costa Rica (italics added):

Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk, 39, on Friday was arrested in Spain as part of a money laundering investigation performed jointly by police agencies in the United States and Costa Rica.

Costa Rican prosecutor José Pablo González said Budovsky, a Costa Rican citizen of Ukrainian origin, has been under investigation since 2011 for money laundering using a company he created in the country called Liberty Reserve.

Local investigations began after a request from a prosecutor’s office in New York. On Friday, San José prosecutors conducted raids in Budovsky’s house and offices in Escazá, Santa Ana, southwest of San José, and in the province of Heredia, north of the capital.

Budovsky’s businesses in Costa Rica apparently were financed by using money from child pornography websites and drug trafficking.

Separately, BehindMLM.com is reporting that Liberty Reserve’s website is throwing a server error. The PP Blog confirmed the site will not load and that there appears to be no page-source information on the landing page.

Recent scams that have used Liberty Reserve include JustBeenPaid/JSSTripler, “Expert Invest Group,” T2MoneyKlub (one of Ponzi schemer “Dave’s”) purported “programs,” Insectrio, Imperia Invest IBC and many more.

Imperia scammed deaf people, the SEC said in 2010.

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35 Responses to “URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Liberty Reserve Payment Processor Offline Amid Reports Of Arrest Of Operator In Spain On Money-Laundering Charges”

  1. Patrick, you didn’t mention that Arthur Budovsky was one of the principals behind another shady opersation – GoldAge.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Age

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  2. Co operator of a payment processor that was used by online scams also financed some of those scam himself? Color me not surprised at all.

    Ponzi boards are going to explode.

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  3. Scams like TVI Express and its clone, IBC Travel, also used Liberty Reserve so it doesn’t have to deal with a bank (who asks more detailed questions)

    http://kschang.hubpages.com/hub/Is-IBCTravelscom-a-real-way-to-travel-and-earn-money-or-is-it-just-a-clone-of-an-existing-scam

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  4. Quick note: Looks as though BiwakoBank, one of the ProfitableSunrise reload scams, accepted LibertyReserve.

    http://patrickpretty.com/2013/05/22/update-pushed-to-profitable-sunrise-victims-biwako-bank-limited-appears-to-be-doa/

    Patrick

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  5. So did “SuperWithdraw” which, like BiwakoBank, was promoted on a Profitable Sunrise Facebook site.

    Patrick

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  6. So did Whos12, another of the reload scams promoted on the Profitable Sunrise Facebook site.

    Patrick

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  7. So did Fairy Funds.

    Patrick

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  8. So did Roxilia.

    Patrick

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  9. So did OptiEarn.

    Patrick

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  10. Do did AVVGlobal.

    Patrick

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  11. So did ProForexUnion.

    Patrick

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  12. So did MajestiCrown.

    Patrick

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  13. So did TelexFree, according to a post on the MoneyMakerGroup Ponzi forum dated Jan. 25, 2013.

    So, it looks as though virtually all of the reload scams promoted on the Profitable Sunrise Facebook site accepted LibertyReserve. It’s also interesting that the Facebook site appears to have been pruned of “programs” in recent days. I’m not sure if all of them were deleted.

    Patrick

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  14. Boris: Ponzi boards are going to explode.

    Hello Boris,

    I’ve noticed some Ponzi-board infighting over the Liberty Reserve news. Some of the folks appear to be clinging to hope. Others say game over, theorizing that the U.S. Feds are involved because the LibertyReserve nameserver has been changed to a “sinkhole” URL.

    Patrick

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  15. Tony H: Patrick, you didn’t mention that Arthur Budovsky was one of the principals behind another shady opersation – GoldAge.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Age

    Hi Tony,

    Some of the into in the WikiPedia entry for GoldAge appears to have been written by somebody who has a political bent. The term “fiat currency” is used, for example. So, the Wiki entry could be a GoldAge fan site.

    Patrick

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  16. Other LibertyReserve “programs” as published on a purported monitoring site:

    * MuchInvests

    * ClaitonFund

    * MaxCoInvest

    * Malaysian-Inc.

    * RockHYIP

    * HYIPs-Investment

    * Gold-HYIPs

    * DreamyHYIP

    * Max-Earn[biz]

    * Profit-HYIP

    * You-Profit[net]

    * Profit-Park[net]

    * Golden-Plans

    * Invest600

    * AustralianBusinessGroup

    * BensonUnion

    * NBAInvest

    * GoldStarProfits

    * KeepFund

    * ProfitKing[us]

    * CapitalInWest

    * NovarroInvestment

    * BanksPay

    * ProfitUnion[org]

    * ProfBank[net]

    * EarningAlliance

    * PrimeInvest[net]

    * XeniumPlus[net]

    * BlackGold[biz]

    * Car-Ltd

    * VertexFinance

    Of course, PerfectMoney, EgoPay and SolidTrustPay also are in this mix, to varying degrees.

    Patrick

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  17. Quick note: Went back to the Profitable Sunrise Facebook site and some new reload scams are appearing.

    One of them is ZoomROI[biz], which purports to accept LibertyReserve, PerfectMoney and SolidTrustPay. It also has links to three of the best-known Ponzi forums: TalkGold, MoneyMakerGroup and DreamTeamMoney.

    Apparently ZoomROI hasn’t gotten the memo about LibertyReserve. Nor does it appear to be aware that PerfectMoney now says it is banning U.S. customers.

    There also is a promo on the Facebook site for something called TurboIncomeCharger, a purported “leads” program.

    Patrick

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  18. Quick note: ProfitClicking, one of the follow-up scams to the JustBeenPaid/JSSTripler scam, also says it accepts Liberty Reserve.

    So does ClickPaid, yet another of the scams linked to Frederick Mann and JBP/JSS. PerfectMoney also is in the ClickPaid mix, along with SolidTrustPay and EgoPay.

    Patrick

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  19. It would be easier to list names of scams that do not use Liberty Reserves.

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  20. After e-gold went down & the owners were prosecuted, there was mild panic on the ponzi forums. However, it didn’t take long for the ponzi-enablers to code their scripts to use Liberty Reserve instead. Virtually every obvious ponzi on talkgold/MMG since 2006 has used LR.

    There’s more info here:
    https://krebsonsecurity.com/tag/arthur-budovsky-belanchuk/

    Assuming the reports at The Tico Times and El Nacion are accurate, this would not be the first time Mr. Budovsky has attracted attention from authorities for money laundering. According to the Justice Department, on July 27, 2006, Arthur Budovsky and a man named Vladimir Kats were indicted by the state of New York on charges of operating an illegal money transmittal business, GoldAge Inc., from their Brooklyn apartments.

    I think Vladimir Kats has sometimes posted on the ponzi forums as “patryn”, I could be wrong.

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  21. Tony H: There’s more info here:
    https://krebsonsecurity.com/tag/arthur-budovsky-belanchuk/

    Thanks for this, Tony.

    Patrick

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  22. Tony H: I think Vladimir Kats has sometimes posted on the ponzi forums as “patryn”, I could be wrong.

    Patryn aka Voleur is Omar Dhanani

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  23. Tony H: After e-gold went down & the owners were prosecuted, there was mild panic on the ponzi forums. However…

    On a sidenote.

    Rust Consulting Inc. is starting the e-gold claims process on June 3, 2013.

    more info here – https://egoldclaimsprocess.com
    and here – http://blog.e-gold.com

    best wishes

    Thom

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  24. Speaking of KrebsonSecurity… He just reported that FIVE OTHER DGC’s were taken offline (and traffic redirected to shadowserver sinkholes) along with Liberty Reserve.

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  25. Checking the various domains also closed seem to indicate they are all owned or related to Arthur Bodovsky, esp. AsianaGold, according to a link on DreamMoneyTeam.

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  26. littleroundman: Patryn aka Voleur is Omar Dhanani

    I thought there was a link between “Patryn” and these ponzi enabling paymen processors.
    http://nationalforex.com/2013/05/25/gold-age-was-a-digital-currency-exchanger-and-one-of-the-first-independent-e-gold-exchangers-gold-age-was-a-registered-legal-corporate-entity-of-panama-gold-age-launched-in-1999-and-closed-down-in-2/

    In January 2006 when the sting operation was begun BusinessWeek had just reported on the use of the e-gold system by ShadowCrew, an 1000-strong international crime syndicate involved in massive identity theft and fraud. Omar Dhanani of Fountain Valley, California, connected to the ShadowCrew, is an e-gold customer and is said to have moved amounts ranging from $40,000 to $100,000 a week from proceeds of crime through e-gold. There was and is no indication that Gold Age was in any way involved with, or even used to innocently sell e-gold to members.

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  27. Thom: Rust Consulting Inc. is starting the e-gold claims process on June 3, 2013.

    more info here – https://egoldclaimsprocess.com
    and here – http://blog.e-gold.com

    Thanks for this, Thom.

    Patrick

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  28. littleroundman: Omar Dhanani

    A person by this name is referenced in Paragraph 51 (Page 32) of this document by the U.S. Secret Service. The document is part of the e-gold case and specifically references the shadowcrew prosecution.

    https://egoldclaimsprocess.com/Portals/0/Documents/E-Gold%20%20Affidavit.pdf

    Longtime readers will recall that some members of the e-gold investigative/prosecution team also had roles in the prosecution of the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme.

    Patrick

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  29. A post on one of the ponzi forums was saying that because the news source was a small operator, it was wrong. Now the BBC has the story:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22680297

    Costa Rica state prosecutor Jose Pablo Gonzalez announced news of the raids on Saturday. He said that in addition to Mr Budovsky’s arrest, 10 other suspects were being investigated in connection with international money laundering.

    I wonder who the 10 other suspects are?

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  30. All this news are just fabricated, BBC news is gotten from ticotime and ticotime is paid by perfect money to put up this bullshit

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  31. TicoTimes is now suggesting that Budovsky may have bought his way into PR citizenship by arranging a sham marriage.

    http://www.ticotimes.net/More-news/News-Briefs/Liberty-Reserve-A-cyberweb-of-intrigue_Tuesday-May-28-2013

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  32. The article also mentioned that a “Chukharev” was arrested and will be extradited to the US.

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  33. Wisdom: All this news are just fabricated, BBC news is gotten from ticotime and ticotime is paid by perfect money to put up this bullshit

    Do you believe in the Easter Bunny, too?

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  34. Wisdom:
    All this news are just fabricated, BBC news is gotten from ticotime and ticotime is paid by perfect money to put up this bullshit

    “U.S. Secret Service, HSI and IRS-CI executed arrest and search warrants in seven countries to include Spain, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and the United States. Assets of Liberty Reserve will also be frozen in Hong Kong, Spain, Morocco and China. Current and former executives of Liberty Reserve are charged with violating numerous anti money laundering statutes and operating as illegal money transmitters.”

    So, Wisdom, who was it paid off the US Secret Service, then ??

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