The financial market is a white-collar business, promising good yield. Many got rich here, with most successful ones scoring high on Forbes list. But some people lost everything. And they make a majority. Why does it happen? Largely, since financial market business attracts not only honest people but scammers, too. One of such frauds, who managed to spread its activities across entire Europe is the “Russian Kraken” – TeleTrade Group. The scammers from Russia have pulled their schemes not only in their home country – they found the henchmen in the European Union, too.
The branches of the licensed broker TeleTrade Cyprus are opened in Portugal, Italy, Poland, and Hungary. Such a form of incorporation implies only marketing activities. Nevertheless, the scammers, who could not care less about the law, open the accounts for the Europeans and sell them the company’s products. And this is just the tip of the iceberg – the fraud schemes are large-scale and various. One of the serious violations, committed by TeleTrade representative offices is opening the accounts for the European customers in the offshore company TeleTrade-DJ International Consulting Ltd. (registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). The customers are persuaded to open the accounts there, presenting it as an excellent way to evade taxes.
Below, there are the screenshots of the accounts of the customers (a small part of them), which came to terms with to conscience and opened the accounts at the offshore company
Customers of TeleTrade Portugal – the offshore accounts.
Customers of TeleTrade Italy – the offshore accounts.
Customers of TeleTrade Poland – the offshore accounts.
The mastermind behind all the schemes of cheating European customers, and the person who gives orders to the branches, is Sergey Shamrayev – the head of TeleTrade Cyprus. In Russia, he is investigated in terms of large-scale fraud (Clause 4 of Article 159 of the RF Criminal Code). Jointly with the owners of TeleTrade Russia, he robbed the Russians to the amount of 1 billion rubles. In Italy, Shamrayev’s accomplice is Igor Tacconelli.
Another way to con European customers is the project of automated trading TeleTrade Invest (SYNCTRADING in Portugal, TELETRADE INVEST in Italy, SYNC TRADING in Poland). In a nutshell, within the project, the customers are connected to the masters, whose accounts are registered in the name of fake people and the money in such accounts is virtual. When such master connects a considerable number of customers with the required amount of money in their personal accounts, Shamrayev and the heads of TeleTrade divisions instruct the company’s programmers to blow the masters’ accounts – and, along with the virtual money, the real money from the European customers’ accounts is wasted. Igor Tocconelli and the leadership of other company’s European divisions are awarded 3% of such scheming. To hid this shady income, the scammers opened their accounts at MetaTrader. This is the place where their money is transferred to pretend it was earned from trading. Such “salaries” of the frauds reach Euro 10,000, while officially, the salary of the divisions’ top managers is only 700 to 1,500 euro – and these sums are subject to taxation.
All the schemes, mentioned above, for some reason, remain under the radar of the financial regulator CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission). And it invites the assumption – can the regulator be bribed by Shamrayev? No matter what, the “Russian mafia”, represented by Sergey Shamrayev and TeleTrade, is getting away with the crimes and spreading its tentacles in Europe.
Read about the structure of this scammer company and its key characters in our article.
TeleTrade — the whole truth about a group of scammers, who deprive the customers of the money across Europe
The fact and events, referred to in this article, have been affecting greatly the financial community of Russia and Europe, as well as anyone who has ever dealt with financial markets and brokerage.
In 2016, in Moscow, and then across entire Russia, there was a great number of searches in the premises of the financial company TeleTrade. This news hit the headlines of all media – the Internet carried screaming videos where strongmen in camouflage gear were breaking into the offices of this broker and suppressing the documents and software.
These numerous searches were conducted as a part of the investigative action within a criminal case initiated against the then licensed company TeleTrade Russia (Clause 4 of Article 159 of the RF Criminal Code – “large-scale fraud”). TeleTrade robbed their customers to the amount of over 1 billion rubles. Being charged with fraud, the company’s employees were detained, while its owners and top management managed to flee. TeleTrade Russia’s owner, Vladimir Chernobay, and his nephew, Oleg Suvorov, who was responsible for finances, “took the flight”.
Who’s at the helm? Vladimir Chernobay, Mingiyan Manzhykov, and Oleg Suvorov
So what is nature the famous brokerage company TeleTrade? Let’s have a deeper look, cast light on its criminal activity, and introduce the main characters who are at the helm of the broker and are pulling dirty schemes.
The owner of TeleTrade group of companies, Vladimir Chernobay, never faced the punishment for his crimes – he died of cancer in Germany where he had been hiding from justice. This was the fraud of considerable experience whose standards of integrity had never been high – both in terms of business and his private life. Even on his deathbed, this lustful womanizer was texting with the women of ill repute.
One of the closest associates of the late Vladimir Chenorbay. A sly stooge, who had always known how to please his master; a person with overweening conceit and unbounded ambitions. He still runs the company’s back office. And TeleTrade accounts department reports to him.
In 2016, the searchers in the company scared coward Manzhykov so much he started begging Chernobay about a chance to leave Russia and start a back-office in the Czech Republic. There, craving for absolute and unchallenged power, he employed mostly women to his office. He couldn’t rule men as easily. In the environment of flatter and deference, Manzhykov “reigns” in the back-office and introduces not less than a company’s co-founder. This was Mangiyan Manzhykov, who, in association with TeleTrade accountant Elena Klipina, crafted a scheme of an unashamed rip-off of the money from the customers’ accounts.
Those who rob millions, as a rule, do not only violate the law in the financial area – the greed takes over the value of people’s life. It goes for Manginyan Manzhykov, too. Together with Chernobay, he planned an attempted murder of Andrey Dashin, Chernobay’s competitor, the head of the companies “Alpary” and FXTM, who resided on Cyprus. Fortunately, Dashin somehow found out about their criminal plot, and Manzhykov had to wrap up their plan of the attack. But today, according to people around him, he is plotting another assassination attempt – against another person this time.
Oleg Suvorov – the nephew of the late Chernobay – a young shifty hypocrite, who can easily compete with his uncle in the lack of principles. He was luckier – he is well and sound and is hiding somewhere in the Czech Republic, sheltered by Mingiyan Manzhykov. In fact, after Chernobay’s death, Suvorov announced himself the company’s owner. He has got the US visa and is waiting for the spouse of his late uncle to come into inheritance to then sell TeleTrade Cyprus for the aspired $10,000,000 and drive into bankruptcy TeleTrade Saint Vincent and all brokerage company, working under its management.
Mingiyan Manzhykov’s minion, a former TeleTrade Russia director, who is investigated in Russia within the fraud case ( Clause 4, Article 159 the RF Criminal Code) and stripped of the certificate, which enabled him to occupy a top-managing position in a brokerage company. Today, Sergey Shamrayev lives in Nicosia and works as a top-manager. He got his position under false pretence, telling the financial regulator CySEC (Cyprus) that he was still a certificate holder. At TeleTrade Cyprus, Shamrayev brought together all his accomplices-robbers from TeleTrade Russia and invited another famous scammer, who had driven bankrupt many customers in Ukraine – Sergey Saroyan. Here, in Europe, Sergey Shamrayev launched his fraud scheming at full swing. One of the major plots was blowing the deposits of European customers through the trading bots, the accounts of which were opened in offshore zones.
The leading TeleTrade programmer, who created the projects “Master Invest”, and “Synchronized trading” is one of the leading inventors of technical possibilities to steal money from the customers. The audacious and shameless young man made his career at TeleTrade, where he developed, besides the projects mentioned above, many trading bots, with the help of which the scammers waste the accounts of the customers of TeleTrade Cyprus, TeleTrade St. Vincent, Forex Optimum, and other brokers, working under their label.
The lead programmer of TeleTrade, who take part in all the company’s schemes, wasting the accounts, creating fake graphs, etc. In the Company, Sergey Bush is also in charge of CRM-systems – an applied software for automatization of cooperation strategies with buyers and customers. He introduced to the software the possibility to close the access to the entire system by literally pushing one button. In the case of force-majeure, such as sudden police call, this will prevent the law enforcement bodies from retrieving the information about the company’s activities.
TeleTrade accountant, whose greed and superiority complex led her to the criminal path of collusion with the company’s leadership. Elena Klipina has never missed a scam with customers’ accounts and money.
Oleg Suvorov’s deputy and close friend. He is also in charge of TeleTrade finances – it is Dmitriy Agafonov who hides and converts into cash the money, stolen from the company’s customers.
The composition of the group of companies TeleTrade
- TeleTrade Cyprus is a licensed broker, registered on Cyprus and licensed by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission СySEC.
- TeleTrade Saint Vincent – a broker, registered on the island state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which is a tax haven zone. The activity of such a company is regulated by no one. At the moment, the broker’s operation is cut by 2/3. The money withdrawal is limited. The payment systems and banks refuse to cooperate with this company. The last one was Past Bank (Latvia) where a small part of TeleTrade equity was held but was eventually arrested by the bank. Mingiyan Manzhykov and Oleg Suvorov are waiting for the Chernobay’s widow to come into inheritance so that they could withdraw TeleTrade equity and drive the company bankrupt.
- Forex Optimum Group – a TeleTrade broker, which works under its own label Forex Optimum Group.
- Hamilton – a TeleTrade broker, which works under its own label Hamilton.
- EXUN – a TeleTrade broker, which works under its own label EXUN.
- Center of Analytics and Digital Technologies (CADT) is a TeleTrade subsidiary, focusing on involving the customers – the client offices.
- FENIX – TeleTrade subsidiary, involving the customers – the client offices.
- Customer support is today located in Tula, Russia. It used to be placed in the Czech Republic and Moscow. The customer support is single for all TeleTrade brokers, both licensed and offshore-based.
- The back-office, one part of which is located on Cyprus and the other, a smaller one, headed by Mingiyan Manzhykov is in the Czech Republic. The back office is also one for all TeleTrade brokerage companies, both licensed and offshore-based.
- Programming office Programmers support the CRM system (one for all brokers comprising the group of companies TeleTrade). It is responsible for:
- terminal operation;
- Synchronized Trading project;
- operation of trading bots.
At the order of TeleTrade top-management, the programmers waste the customers’ accounts Utilizing the bots and getting unauthorized access to the Personal Accounts (details will be explained below). Several offices of the company are located in Moscow until now.
On TeleTrade processes – all methods and mechanisms of cheating the customers
Like any other broker, TeleTrade has got A-book and B-book. What is that? These are the two forms of treating customers’ money, the two ways of gaining profit.
A-book: A broker is just an agent who brings the deals with the customers to the external contractor. Respectively, he earns from the commission and the spread.
B-book: A broker “keeps” the customers’ deals. It means that if the customer loses his or her money, the money remains with the broker. So, it is beneficial for any broker when the customer wastes their money. And the faster it is happening, the better.
And for that, there are…
- Self-trading. Of all the customers, 97% blow under the three months.
- Bonuses are a good tool to attract customers here. They appeal to the customer’s greediness and spur him or her to invest their money into TeleTrade.
- TeleTrade client offices. These are venues for free seminars, which are supposed to increase the level of people’s financial literacy. In fact, they encourage customers to invest their money into TeleTrade.
The main scamming plots – your money is our money now
The first grand fraud – the project Traders Stock Exchange
Traders Stock Exchange
The broker is not entitled to manage customer’s money, so Chernobay and Manzhykov created an allegedly independent project – Traders Stock Exchange. At the offices, the customers were recommended to work with the traders from this project. When a customer wanted to withdraw his or her money, the scammers would instruct to blow the account to the traders they controlled. The traders, during one night, were opening large deals with many lots against the trend, wasting the entire customer’s deposit. This is how every month, millions of dollars were wasted. Given that all the money was located in the B-book, it is quite clear that it ended up in the pockets of Chernobay, Manzhykov, Suvorov, Shamrayev, and other TeleTrade frauds, who colluded with them. After some time, the amount of the money stolen reached a “critical mass” and it was no longer possible to hide it. At that point, the frauds were quite careful and closed down the “Traders Stock Exchange” project.
Synchronized trading – the operations, configured by the programmers, to blow the deposits of TeleTrade customers
But the holy place is never empty. To pump up more money from the gullible customers, they developed a new project – Synchronized Trading.
It mostly consisted of not human traders, but trading bots. In a nutshell, in the automated trading, the customer’s account was connected to the Master’s accounts, which as a rule as a trading bot, so the deals were copied automatically.
The programmer Evgeniy Galikhin, managed by Manzhykov and Suvorov, open the accounts in the fake names and create deposits with the virtual money. This deposit is connected to a trading bot. To the same deposit, the real customers with real money are connected (both those registered at the licensed Teletrade and those, whose accounts are opened in an offshore zone). The advertising campaign actively promotes trading bots as tech innovations. They successfully collect the money from the customers. The moment they have the sum they need, Galikhin re-configurates the software so that the bot will blow its deposit, and, along with its virtual money, it wastes the customers’ real money, too.
For investigation bodies, it’s a no brainer to expose this scheming – they only have to check the way of how the money was transferred to the deposit. It will become crystal clear that the money was transferred without any bank or payment system transfers, it just came from nowhere.
Greed and effrontery knowing no boundaries OR How to steal half a million during one night
The scammers’ kit includes even more brutal tools, such as unauthorized access under the customer’s login and password to his Personal Account and blowing the deposit. Quite a remarkable example of one Tunisian customer explains this scheme well. The CRM TeleTrade screenshots below show how the customer applies for withdrawal of $465 276. The application is confirmed by the office employees and curators of the client office. Then, Mingiyan Manzhykov steps in and orders to withdraw money from the account; however, the accountant makes repayment to the account to imitate the transfer of money to the bank. After two minutes, Manzhykov, orders to CRM:
“To withdraw money from the account – then the accountant makes a withdrawal to the account – DON’T TRANSFER!!!”
After another minute, he gives a new order:
“To withdraw money from the account – then the accountant must make a repayment to the account – DON’T TRANSFER!!!”
Further, Manzhykov’s employee writes:
“To withdraw money from the account on MONDAY – then the accountant must make a repayment to the account – DON’T TRANSFER!!!”
After that, the accountant Kadysheva, Klipina’s subordinate, plays her part in this plot and writes to CRM:
“Have submitted it for processing”.
“Received for payment”
What has really happened? Chernobay, Manzhykov, and Suvorov realized they were facing the withdrawal of half a million of dollars and decided to stop it and grab this money. They imitated the transfer of the money from the customer’s trading account to his bank account. The customer saw that the money was transferred and was waiting patiently for his money appearing on his account. Suvorov and Agafonov were watching the back-office head Manzhykov manipulating the customer’s money. Manzhykov returned the money to the trading account; he then explained it that it was the bank that for some reason had returned the money. At night, Galykhin and Bursh, under the control of Manzhykov, Suvorov and Agafonov, illegally used the customer’s login and password and got unauthorized access to his trading account. There, they started opening the deals on gold, at large volumes against the trend, and within several hours, the scammers blew the account down to zero. Given that the customer’s money was on the B-book, all half a million during one night were pocketed by Vladimir Chernobay, Mingiyan Manzhykov, and Oleg Suvorov. When the customer saw what had happened, he started writing to Customer Support, but there he was shamelessly told to get lots.
Is the Prosecutor’s office helpless? Vladimir Chernobay already faced the Last Judgement, while Mingiyan, Mazhykov, and Oleg Suvorov are still free
And this is just one of many of their robberies. The plots of Chernobay, Manzhykov, Shamrayev, Suvorov and other TeleTrade frauds can’t but impress by their scale and brazenness. Later on, there was an incident which can be easily associated with the case above. At a Polish bank, Suvorov opened at the account where half a million of dollars were transferred. However, the Polish Prosecutor’s office saw this transfer suspicious and arrested the TeleTrade account. Suvorov and Agafonova were many times called by the law enforcement bodies. But Suvorov appeared for interrogation just once and simply ignored all other calls. Now, the money is under investigation of the Polish Prosecutor’s office as “the black” one and it is about to be confiscated. The Polish investigation bodies are going to put Agafonova and Suvorov on the wanted list.
Most likely, when the Polish authorities find out that Suvorov is wanted in Russia (Clause 4 of Article 159 of the RF Criminal Code – “large-scale fraud”), they will join their efforts with their Russian colleagues.
Who shook TeleTrade down?
Chernobay, Suvorov, and Manzhykov blamed Andrey Dashin, the owner of the companies “Alpary” and “FXTM”, for the criminal case on them. The scammers believed that Dashin paid a gigantic bribe to his friend – the head of the Head Office for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement, general-lieutenant of the police Andrey Kurnosenko. After that, he initiated a shakedown against Chernobay and Suvorov. According to the scammers, Kurnosenko, through the investigation officers, was pinching $5, 000, 000 out of them to “solve the problem”. Chernobay and Suvorov, having realized it was getting really tough, went on the run, holding the hope that while they were hiding, the situation would change, and Kurnosenko would probably be removed from his position. However, life had other plans – Chernobay died on the run. Suvorov keeps hiding, sheltered by Manzhykov in the Czech Republic, and manages the company from there.
What are Oleg Suvorov and Minginyan Manzhykov going to do in the near time? After Vladimir Chernobay’s widow comes into an inheritance, they are going to sell TeleTrade Cyprus for 10-12 millions of dollars, to drive bankrupt TeleTrade Saint Vincent and all other brokers of the group of companies “TeleTrade”, and after that to leave for the USA and live comfortably there for the money gained from the company sale. But these plans can be prevented by quite objective circumstances. Their accomplice, Sergey Shamrayev, launched a large-scale fraud activity in Europe and is robbing TeleTrade customers. There is a fat chance that the financial regulator will initiate a criminal case on TeleTrade Cyprus. And then Suvorov won’t be able to sell the company. There is also a chance that Chernobay’s widow won’t grant Suvorov and Manzhykov the right to administer these companies because she will realize that eventually, she will be the one who is going to suffer because of their crimes.
After all, Russia’s investigation bodies can ally with the Polish Prosecutor’s Office and joining their efforts to detain the programmers and receive information about the technical part of the schemes. The investigation officers may have their methods to press on the crooked IT guys and they will share the information without concealing anything. And if the investigation reaches Mingiyan Manzhykov and Elena Klipina, their testimonies will dig the grave for all the scammers and they will be facing many-years imprisonment.
Justice should be served
because Vladimir Chernobay’s estate is gained from people’s sorrow.
These capitals were growing, being watered by the tears of the people
who lost their homes, businesses, the money they had earned by hard
work. The day of reckoning will come by all means. And for now, our
correspondents will keep following the course of the investigation and
inform the readers about news facts on the case of the international