The scandal and crisis shaken listed Veltyco Group PLC is trying to reposition itself. The company was founded in 2016 in the course of a reverse takeover (RTO) by the now-imprisoned German online entrepreneur Uwe Lenhoff with his partners, the Dutch investor Dirk Jan “DJ” Bakker and the Dutch manager Marcel Noordeloos. The company was intended as the public front-end for largely illegal online businesses, according to investigating authorities. Through his offshore companies and the Bulgarian company Winslet Enterprises, Lenhoff operated illegal brokerage sites as well as online gambling, lottery, and sports betting sites that were to be considered scams.
Veltyco was responsible for the marketing of the scams and broker frauds and was used for money-laundering. Besides Uwe Lenhoff, his Albanian partner Betim Tasholli is also said to have been arrested as has been Lenhoff’s Israeli partner Gal Barak. More than a dozen potential accomplices are currently being investigated by several public prosecutors’ offices. Veltyco and Lenhoff have laundered dozens of millions of Euros via German Wirecard and Dutch Payvision, among others. This is the current status of the investigations.
Cologne-based Bet90 and Lenhoff’s past
The Bet90, an online sportsbook and casino gaming operator based in Cologne, Germany, was already an important project for Lenhoff in the times before Veltyco. Together with his friend Ingo Saager he developed Bet90 online and offline. He engaged with German CryptoTec AG of Michael Mertens and Michael Raumann, also based in Cologne, to produce sports betting machines. Back in 2016, Lenhoff explained to business partners that he plans to sell Bet90 to Veltyco in 2017 at a high valuation to get money out of the company. And he did so!
In Q2 2017, in a strange construction, Veltyco took over the majority of Bet 90 Sports Ltd via Quasar Holdings Ltd, for €2 million and, additionally, acquired T4U Marketing Ltd for €510,000 (see article here). Both companies have allegedly been beneficially owned by Uwe Lenhoff and his friends. Veltyco actually failed to disclose that it was a related-party transaction. A failure or a practice the company frequently applied.
Bet90, Quasar Holdings, and the other related parties
In the 2017 transaction, Veltyco acquired 51% of Quasar Holdings Ltd, Malta, from the Binbar GmbH of the German Nebi Bingöl, also located in Cologne, Germany. According to the Offshore Leaks Database, Uwe Lenhoff’s partner, the Albanian Betim Tasholli, was also a shareholder of Quasar Holdings Ltd and it is assumed that Tasholli held the shares in trust for Lenhoff. Read more on Betim Tasholli and his Veltyco connections here on FinTelegram.
Veltyco thereby acquired 51% of Quasar Holdings Ltd, Malta, from the Binbar GmbH of the German Nebi Bingöl, also located in Cologne, Germany. According to the Offshore Leaks Database, Uwe Lenhoff’s partner, the Albanian Betim Tasholli, was also a shareholder of Quasar Holdings Ltd and it is assumed that Tasholli held the shares in trust for Lenhoff.
Betim Tasholli was arrested in Albania in 2019 (read this FinTelegram article). He is suspected of money-laundering, among other things. Tasholli was responsible for the illegal boiler rooms (call center) of the Silkline Group in Kosovo for Lenhoff and Veltyco. It was this boiler room that attacked EU retail investors with Veltyco’s Option888 broker scam for example.
In February 2019, shortly after Lenhoff’s arrest, a former partner of Lenhoff, Michael Mertens from Germany, contacted FinTelegram and stated that he and other people around CryptoTec and Bet90 allegedly had been cheated by Lenhoff and Veltyco. This would also have been the reason why CryptoTec AG and he himself would have parted ways with Michael Raumann. The files of the public prosecutor’s office also show that Ingo Saager, the then-manager of Bet90, informed his colleagues about the illegal dealings of Lenhoff and Veltyco as early as 2018 and feared prison sentences.
FinTelegram already reported in 2019 that Bet90 was involved in strange financial transactions with Lenhoff’s Bulgarian company Winslet Enterprises and its offshore holding company Altair Entertainment. These entanglements must have been so delicate and unclean that the external accounting firm involved at the time filed a complaint in Malta and provided FinTelegram with documents (see also chart above).
Bet90 and the Veltyco future
Before it became publicly known that Lenhoff had set up a network of broker scams around Veltyco, the company said it wanted to create its own financial brand. Now there is no longer any discussion of this. Now they literally bet on the other Lenhoff horse – on sports betting and casino gaming.
The dodgy past around Bet90 does not prevent Veltyco from focusing on it now. On January 17, 2020, Veltyco announced that it had acquired the remaining 49% of Quasar Holdings Ltd, making it the sole owner of Bet 90 Sports Ltd, Malta.
Furthermore, a name change of Veltyco was announced. The company intends to change its name to Bet90 Holdings PLC. This would complete the realignment of Veltyco. The board of directors and the major shareholders probably hope to escape the criminal past.
to be continued