Gladius Network Pt. 1

This report is the first in a collection of pieces that will be released in quick succession, that outline the criminality of Crypto…

SEC Incompetence Allows Crypto Capital Co. to Defraud Investors Out of $20M+ (Pt. 1)

This report is the first in a collection of pieces that will be released in quick succession, that outline the criminality of Crypto Capital Co., Global Trade Solutions and all affiliated variants.

Introduction

This report will start by outlining the Gladius Network ICO and its ties to Crypto Capital Co., Global Trade Solutions and a series of prolific money launderers and criminals, based primarily in Israel.

Specifically, readers may remember a press release that was published by the SEC in late February 2019, explaining their decision to forego assessing any financial penalties on Gladius Network for launching an ICO that was in breach of U.S. securities law.

Below is the official press release from the SEC re: Gladius Network (February 20th, 2019):

According to the SEC press release:

“Gladius self-reported to the SEC’s Enforcement staff in the summer of 2018, expressed an interest in taking prompt remedial steps, and cooperated with the investigation. The SEC did not impose a penalty because the company self-reported the conduct, agreed to compensate investors, and will register the tokens as a class of securities.”

This report will show how the SEC made an egregious oversight in failing to administer any punitive measures against Gladius Network. This failure essentially enabled the company and, by extension, Crypto Capital Co., in defrauding cryptocurrency users out of well over $12 million in an ICO.

Explaining the Crypto Capital Co. Link

Many in the blockchain space are well aware of the infamous company, ‘Crypto Capital Co’ at this point. For those that are not, this report will be subsequently updated with several comprehensive pieces that break down Crypto Capital Co., and their criminality.

In the meantime, this press release from the Department of Justice that was released in the beginning of May 2019, after the unsealed indictment on Reginald Fowler and Ravid Yosef should serve as an adequate placeholder:

Despite the extensive public reporting on Crypto Capital Co., many are still not aware that Crypto Capital Co. ceased operating under this name several months ago and that they are still in action despite the arrests of two major operators of the money laundering scheme.

Currently, Crypto Capital Co. is operating under the name, ‘Iridium AG’, which is registered and located in Switzerland.

Corporate governance records for the company in the Swiss business directory show that the company has oscillated between the names ‘Crypto Capital AG’ and ‘Iridium AG’ a few times.

Corporate Governance Records for Crypto Capital AG

Above is an excerpt from the Swiss corporate governance records showing the name change for the firm, ‘Iridium Capital AG’ (original iteration of the company) to Crypto Capital AG on March 6th, 2018.

Crypto Capital AG retained this name until June 21st, 2019, at which point they decided to revert to the original company name, ‘Iridium Capital AG’. Notably, this change was made just a little over a month after news of the unsealed indictments of Reginald Fowler and Ravid Yosef (the latter is still at large).

This can also be seen below:

The translated text reads as follows:

“Crypto Capital AG, in Zurich, CHE-114.326.916, Aktiengesellschaft (SHAB №45 dated 06.03.2018, Publ. 4092987). Statute change: 17.06.2019. New company: Iridium Capital AG. New company translations: (Iridium Capital SA) (Iridium Capital Inc.). Purpose new: The purpose of the company is the management consulting, management of own assets, proprietary trading, financial consulting, consulting in the field of media, PLI Solutions, address trading, address leasing, as well as the provision of financial market information, information systems. The Company may establish domestic and foreign branches and subsidiaries, and participate in other companies, acquire, encumber, dispose of, and manage real estate, provide financing for its own or third parties, and provide guarantees and guarantees to subsidiaries and third parties.”

Notably, the description of business activities are hardly different than what they were before, when the company was known as Crypto Capital AG.

Curiously, Global Trade Solutions AG (parent company of Crypto Capital Co., according to https://cryptocapital.co), is not located too far from Crypto Capital AG.

There are also numerous additional iterations of the company name, ‘Crypto Capital Co.’ that are listed in the Swiss corporate governance records for Iridium AG (Crypto Capital’s current operating name).

Below is a picture detailing the various names that Crypto Capital has operated under in connection with their Swiss filing:

As the picture above shows, Crypto Capital Co. has operated under the following names:

  • Iridium Capital AG

  • Crypto Capital AG

  • Iridium Capital Inc.

  • Iridium Capital SA

  • Crypto Capital SA

  • Crypto Capital Inc.

It is worth noting that the list of names above is far from exhaustive. These are just the names that are associated with Crypto Capital’s Swiss business operations. These additional variants of Crypto Capital Co. will be detailed in subsequent reports.

Panama Version of Crypto Capital Co.

The Crypto Capital iteration that is registered in Panama (and associated in the U.S. indictment), was formally dissolved in April 2019, approximately a week before the U.S. DOJ unsealed indictments against both Ravid Yosef and Reginald Fowler:

Connecting the Panamanian-Based Crypto Capital to the Swiss-Based Crypto Capital

While the criminality of the Panamanian-based Crypto Capital has already been widely reported on by various media outlets, this, in itself, does not necessarily mean that the Swiss-based iteration can be assumed to be the same entity.

Without establishing this fact, any conclusions about the Swiss-based Crypto Capital (Iridum AG) would be unsubstantiated.

Thus, this report will provide information below that establishes the connection between the two entities before moving forward.

Facts That Tie the Two Entities Together

Below are a few facts that establish the connection between the two entities

Fact #1 — Banking Information From TransferWise (H3)

During the time that the Panamanian-based Crypto Capital was in operation, they published wire details for their bank account in a few public locations.

Some of these postings have yet to be removed.

One place that still contains this information is the website, Transferwise. Below are some screenshots that provide a visual:

Notably, ‘SA’ is a suffix is used for Panamanian companies, specifically.

With the confluence of evidence strongly indicating that the company, ‘Crypto Capital AG’, located in Switzerland, is indeed the same ‘Crypto Capital Co.’ that is associated to Bitfinex and Global Trade Solutions AG, it is safe to assume that the Crypto Capital entities are one in the same in this case.

Introducing Trilliant AG

Further research into the affairs of Crypto Capital AG leads to a company called, ‘Trilliant AG’.

trilliant.io

As the front page makes clear, Trilliant boasts that they possess a, “Network of cryptocurrency ATMs” that make “coins and currencies available at every corner”.

What is more interesting is Trilliant’s apparent public relationship with Crypto Capital AG. See the excerpt below from Yahoo! Finance:

Below is a picture of the team from the same whitepaper:

When analyzing the team more closely, ties to various frauds and scams that have solicited millions of dollars from victims can be seen.

The next section of this report will cover those various criminal activities that the listed members of the Trilliant AG team have been involved in, with Gladius Network being the focal point.

Analyzing Listed Team Members

Andrei Zernov

A short Google search for more information about Andrei Zernov brought up the official Bitcoin Wiki entry for the Trilliant AG team.

On that page, the team is listed in full (with a few additional individuals that were not included in Trilliant AG’s whitepaper).

Notably , Andrei Zernov’s entry contains a link to his LinkedIn page:

Andrei’s LinkedIn page also confirms his involvement with Trilliant.

In addition, Andrei’s LinkedIn shows that he has been involved with a prior company called, ‘Vergrand Grupp OÜ’.

A brief search for Vergrand Grupp OÜ company information in Estonian business records reveals the following:

This address is of particular importance because it is attached to a significant amount of fraud, which will be detailed in a subsequent report.

Notably, a confluence of gambling companies and binary/CFD/crypto scams are registered at this specific address, in this specific building.

In specific, several billion dollars have been laundered in this global fraud and money laundering organization.

A report tying that address to a larger circle of fraud by Crypto Capital Co., Global Trade Solutions, Bitfinex, and even Swedbank (which is currently under global investigation by federal agencies in several different jurisdictions) will be released soon.

Trilliant AG’s Numerous Connections to Gladius Network

As stated in the opening of this report, the SEC’s failure to perform adequate due diligence on various companies has allowed this network of criminals to successfully defraud millions of dollars from investors with virtual impunity.

Trilliant AG — Gladius Network Transplant #1 (Ori Levi)

The first connection between the Trilliant AG and Gladius Network that will be covered in this report is that of Trilliant AG ‘advisor’, ‘Ori Levi’.

Below is a picture of the Trilliant AG team members again, with Ori Levi’s profile boxed in red for reference:

Topical research into Ori Levi shows that there are multiple sources that explicitly associated him with Gladius Network:

Further reporting also confirms that Ori Levi was not only part of the Gladius Network team — he played an itnegral role as ‘Marketing Manager’:

Notably, in the article cited above, Michael Terpin can be observed as a listed team member as well. This is worth observing because Michael Terpin has been closely associated with a number of questionable projects.

Below are two potente examples:

  • Etheal (registered in Tallinn, Estonia with a confluence of projects that are attached to significant fraud and money laundering)

  • GoCoin — A payment processor created by Brock Pierce that boasts that its two biggest clients are Bitfinex and Tether (also created by Brock Pierce). In addition, GoCoin was named in the Backpage federal case as the primary payment processor used to facilitate the laundering of cryptocurrency — notably to at least one account that was confirmed as belonging to Global Trade Solutions.

Trilliant AG — Gladius Network Transplant #2 (Mike Balagna)

Another name on the Gladius Network team member list that bears interest is, ‘Mike Balagna’.

Mike Balagna was listed as a team member for Trilliant AG as well on the Bitcoin Wiki:

In compiling this report, Zerononcense sought out the owner(s)/mainter(s) of the Bitcoin Wiki site to confirm what rules, if any, there are around creating entries on the site.

Photo showing initial contact with one of the maintainers on Telegram

Zerononcense was not able to receive a response regarding sharing the private conversation with BeckyMH before print time for this report. However, as seen above, the screenshots above are typical of the interactions that take place in the BitcoinWiki Telegram — exemplifying that BitcoinWiki entries require approval and that the moderation exists to validate the accuracy of the information as well as the person submitting it.

Thus, the information that is on the Bitcoin Wiki for Trilliant AG, which displays additional team members, should be seen as a legitimate addition by Trilliant AG or an affiliated entity.

Trilliant AG — Gladius Network Transplant #3 (Frank Bonnet)

Surprisingly, Mike Balagna and Ori Levi are not the only transplants from C̶r̶y̶p̶t̶o̶ ̶C̶a̶p̶i̶t̶a̶l̶ ̶C̶o̶ Trilliant AG.

Frank Bonnet can also be found listed as a team member for Gladius Network.

Frank Bonnet was perhaps most instrumental in establishing the Gladius Network ICO itself, since he took on the responsibility of:

  • Coding and creating the actual Gladius Token itself

  • Created the Smart Contract for the crowdsale itself and also managed the direction of funds going to and from the primary crowdsale contract.

  • Maintaining the GitHub repository for the Gladius Network token / crowdsale contracts / etc.

Source: https://github.com/DecentralizedIT ; All related GitHub reepositories for Gladius Network’s token and smart contracts, which are owned and maintained by Frank Bonnet, solely.

  • Frank even took on the responsibility of ensuring that the Gladius Network token was audited by two allegedly 3rd-party, independent reviewers

Frank even received a strong recommendation and accolades from Hosho, the company that performed the first audit report (Hosho.io):

Given the fact that the SEC’s primary qualm is with the fact that Gladius held an unregistered securities offering (ICO), it certainly sticks out as odd that the SEC either:

  • Did not take the time to properly investigate the background of the person responsible for handling all technical aspects of the Gladius ICO

or

  • The SEC did do a cursory investigation into the background of the team members, but simply failed to conduct proper due diligence as it pertains to the companies that Frank Bonnet, Ori Levi, and Mike Balagna are associated with (Crypto Capital Co/Global Trade Solutions/KRM etc.)

Looking into the Trilliant AG CEO — Sebastian Korbach

One could argue that the failure on the part of the SEC to appropriately vet the Gladius Network ICO despite allegedly conducting a thorough investigation into the project before deciding not to assess a penalty, could be due to ignorance, on their behalf, of the fact that Trilliant AG was and is tied intuitively to Crypto Capital Co.

However, when analyzing the background of the CEO of Trilliant AG, Sebastian Korbach, a bit closer, it becomes obvious that only a topical glance at his background would quickly reveal the connection between Trilliant AG and Crypto Capital Co.

Scrutinizing Sebastian Korbach

The first major clue that there is an intuitive link between Crypto Capital and Trilliant AG, that goes beyond a simple endorsement or sponsorship, is that the individual listed as the CEO of Trilliant AG notably has the same last name as the CEO of Crypto Capital AG (now known as Iridium AG).

See below:

Additional research also shows that Steffen Korbach is actually one of the directors of Trilliant AG as well:

Given the information presented above, the only rational conclusions that resolve this mystery are:

A) Steffen/Sebastian is a fake alias being used to conceal the identity of the other

or

B) The two are relatives of some sort

Unfortunately, further research has not yielded a conclusive answer yet for Zerononcense.

But given the fact that corporate governance records state that Steffen Korbach is the actual founder/controller of Trilliant AG, his omission from any public-facing materials or advertisements for Trilliant AG is curious.

Global corporate governance listings further confirm the idea that Trilliant AG and Crypto Capital AG are essentially one entity by corroborating Steffen Korbach’s role as the head of ‘Iridium Capital AG’ (the rename of Crypto Capital AG) in addition to being the head of Trilliant AG (which is listed as being registered in Monaco, interestingly).

Interestingly, Steffen Korbach recently earned international coverage for the “most expensive car accident of all time”:

The most pertinent piece of information that can be found, however, is the address for Trilliant AG:

Notably, the address Dammstrasse 16, 6300 Zug, Switzerland, is the infamous location of ‘Crypto Silicon Valley’, as the location has been dubbed by countless blockchain publications.

A list of all related blockchain-based projects (800+) at that same registration address can be found here: https://pastebin.com/r5LxA1Wz