Unmasking the QBF Scam:
A Call for International Investigation
🔍 ALERT: International Financial Fraud Uncovered!
We bring to light a massive financial scam that has been operating under the guise of a legitimate investment firm, QBF. This group has allegedly been running a Ponzi scheme, causing significant financial damage to unsuspecting investors. The estimated damage is over USD $250 million, potentially rising to USD $550 million when considering VIP individuals who have not yet recognized themselves as victims.
🌐 The Global Impact QBF's operations were not limited to Russia.
The funds received were moved offshore, used at the company's discretion, and invested in various schemes, such as buying bonds of unknown quality and setting up mutual funds at inflated prices. This international operation has raised serious concerns about the role of overseas agents in facilitating money laundering activities.
🚨 The Need for International Investigation.
We urge international regulators and law enforcement agencies to open an investigation into the agents that supported QBF in these alleged illicit activities. The global nature of this scam highlights the urgent need for cross-border cooperation in financial regulation and law enforcement.
🔔 Raising Awareness Share this post to raise awareness about the QBF scam and the broader issue of international financial fraud.
By spreading the word, we can put pressure on overseas regulators and law enforcement to take action and protect innocent investors from falling victim to such schemes. Remember, vigilance is our best defence against financial fraud. Always research before investing and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.
#StopFinancialFraud #QBFScam #InternationalInvestigation #RaiseAwareness
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The purpose of this website is to provide comprehensive, translated coverage of the QBF scam and its impact on investors and citizens, as well as to present information on the European money mules and alleged advisors involved. The website will include references to court hearings, news articles, and other relevant sources to provide a complete picture of the case.
The financial crime unit of the police released the Video showing the raid of QBF and Noa Circle's offices in Moscow city. During the raid, the police seized documents and mobile phones with crucial evidence currently being used in court, exposing the fraudulent and unlawful activities of QBF. The raid happened on May 30 2021. Following the raid, several members of the criminal organisation were arrested. The top management of the organisation, believed to be Mr Roman Spakov and Linda Athanasiadou, have fled the country and hiding in absentia.
QBF & NOACIRCLE SCAM
This website aims to provide comprehensive, translated coverage of the QBF scam and its impact on investors and citizens. It also presents information on the European money mules and the 'advisors' who supported the fraudsters to deceive investors and launder their money.
The website will include references to court hearings, news articles, and other relevant sources to provide a complete picture of the case.
Please get in touch with us if you believe that information or any references are displayed on this website. We should be able to either remove and correct any inaccurate data or provide you with copies of information and court references backing the references made on the website.
QBF Scam Uncovered
The investment company QBF was a promising option for investors in Russia. With its Russian sister company Q.Broker LLC, Cypriot Company Constance Investment LTD, QBF promised maximum convenience, reliability, and significant authorized capital of 333 million rubles.
However, what was initially a promising investment opportunity for thousands of investors soon became one of Russia's most prominent financial scams. As it turned out, the company did not use the money from investors to buy shares related to IPO options, as they promised. Instead, the funds were invested in development projects of the beneficiary of the group of companies, R.V. Shpakov, and most of the client funds were withdrawn abroad.
The scam was so massive that more than 2,000 investors were affected, with losses estimated at over 7 billion rubles. Despite the enormous scale of the fraud, temporary management was inactive, and no criminal case had been initiated for QBF fraud. In 2021, after the searches in the QBF group of companies, the investment company stopped paying investors the money due to them for all over-the-counter products, citing non-fulfilment of obligations on the part of Q.broker LLC.
Beneficiary Shpakov Roman disappeared from customers abroad. The story of QBF has attracted significant media attention in Russia. Forbes published several articles about the case, exposing the secrets of the financial pyramid and questioning the role of the Central Bank in auditing the company.
In November 2021, even Anastasia Volochkova, a famous Russian ballerina, became a victim of the financial pyramid, losing millions of rubles invested in QBF. Despite the attention from the media and the efforts of deceived investors to bring those responsible to justice, QBF fraud remains one of the most significant financial scams in Russia's history.
The story serves as a cautionary tale for investors to be vigilant and aware of the risks involved in investing their money.
A brief introduction to the QBF scam and its impact on Russian citizens
Highlights of recent updates or news on the case
A detailed explanation of the QBF scam and how it operated
Overview of the individuals and companies involved
3. Media Coverage
Translated articles and news reports from Russian media sources
A chronological archive of media coverage on the QBF scam
4. The Fraud Faces
Information about the fraudulent agents, money mules and alleged advisors based in Europe
Analysis of their involvement in the QBF scam
5. Legal Proceedings
Overview of the ongoing legal proceedings related to the QBF scam
Translated summaries of court hearings, documents, and filings
Updates on the progress of the trial and any verdicts or sentencing
6. Impact on Victims
Personal stories and testimonies from victims of the QBF scam
Information on support and resources available to those affected.
7. Resources and External Links
A curated list of additional resources, including government press releases, investigative reports, and regulatory updates
Links to relevant external sources for further reading
8. About us
A curated list of additional resources, including government press releases, investigative reports, and regulatory updates
9. Contact Us
Contact information for visitors who wish to share their stories, provide updates, or request further information
By creating this website, you can help raise awareness about the QBF scam, provide valuable information to the public, and support the victims in their quest for justice.
Make sure to update the website as new information and developments emerge regularly.
Investments went offshore.
The police uncovered a pyramid scheme.
Article by Kommersant: 30 May 2021,
Translated in English:
As it became known to Kommersant, a top manager and lawyer of a large financial pyramid operating under the guise of an investment company QBF, was arrested in Moscow. The alleged fraudsters transferred the money they received to offshore companies, providing clients with fake reports that their investments were invested in serious financial portfolios. According to preliminary estimates of the investigation, we can talk about the theft of about 5-7 billion rubles. According to law enforcement officers, the QBF management could legalize some of this money through development projects, including, for example, the construction of the Gribovsky Les residential complex in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region.
The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow took into custody the 30-year-old co-founder of QBF LLC, who previously headed the Cyprus branch of the company, Zelimkhan Munaev, and 47-year-old lawyer of this structure, Evgenia Rossieva. Both are defendants in a criminal case initiated in April 2021 by the Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on especially large-scale fraud (part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
According to Kommersant, the security forces have been investigating the illegal activities of QBF representatives for more than a year. Last week, as part of the investigation, employees of the GUEBiPK Ministry of Internal Affairs, together with colleagues from the Internal Affairs Directorate for ZAO Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for Moscow and the Moscow UFSB, with the support of special forces, conducted more than 30 searches in Moscow and St. Petersburg. As part of these measures, Messrs. Munaev and Rossieva were detained. The first one lives on Nikolaev Street, not far from the Government House.
When security forces raided him, he barricaded himself in his apartment and refused to open it for three hours. He gave up only after the commandos began to open the door with crowbars and sledgehammers. It's funny that, at this point, there were problems of a different nature. Now Zelimkhan Munaev, who had already decided to surrender, could not open the half-broken metal door from the inside himself - the anti-removable pins were jammed. As a result, the door had to be finally broken.
With Mrs Rossiyeva, who lives on Udaltsova Street, the law enforcement officers had no problems. After that, the investigative team went to the QBF head office, which occupies several floors in the City of Capitals complex in Moscow City (Presnenskaya embankment, 8, building 1). Documentation and electronic data carriers were seized there. Among other things, detectives also found memos for managers, which said how to behave in the event of a visit from law enforcement. It should be noted that a number of companies under the single abbreviation QBF, which also appears in the investigation materials, are registered at the same address on Presnenskaya Embankment.
In parallel with this, in St. Petersburg, operatives detained the director of the branch network of the QBF company, Vladimir Pakhomov. He has already been charged with fraud, but the investigation did not petition for his arrest.
As the employees of the GUEBiPK established during the operational-search activities, the funds of citizens were attracted by the company under the guise of investing in financial portfolios not only in Moscow and St. Petersburg but also through a branch network in the Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Murmansk regions, as well as Bashkiria. Moreover, the main emphasis was placed on wealthy clients, who, according to some reports, had access to budget money. “Not on record” Some QBF managers allegedly said that they were counting on the fact that these people would not turn to the police if they lost their money since they would not be able to prove the legality of their receipt.
However, among the official victims, according to Kommersant's data, there are still those who transferred 200–300 million rubles each to the alleged scammers, and one even gave 1 billion rubles for “trust management”.
Moreover, such people learned about the opportunity to earn about 20% on investments, as a rule, through the so-called word of mouth. And they were indeed paid some dividends at the expense of subsequent investors. Thus, the reputation of the company was maintained, and, in fact, the influx of new wealthy investors was guaranteed.
Ordinary clients who trusted QBF with relatively small sums were, as a rule, led by positive reviews about the company on the Internet. Their problems began when they intended to withdraw the invested funds from QBF. Prior to this, they were all confident that their money was working and making a profit, as managers sent them fictitious monthly and quarterly reports by e-mail.
“Extremely negative impression of QB finance. As long as you bring them money, everything is fine. As soon as you try to pick up, problems begin. Money is not returned. Managers stop answering calls. If you want to lose your money - you are in QBF, - they say, according to Kommersant, the company's clients. - This is an ordinary pyramid that takes money into a trust, some percentage can be withdrawn from you, but when you want to take all the money, then you won't get anything. I have been taken out for a year; the manager always disappears, and no one answers the calls.
As a result, many deceived investors agreed that the laudatory reviews about QBF were written either by the company's managers themselves or by someone on their order. At the moment, the victims, in this case, are several dozen people, among whom there are citizens of Ukraine and companies from Liechtenstein. The damage caused by them is estimated at about 2 billion rubles. The total amount of debt to customers is estimated at 5 billion to 7 billion rubles.
As the police officers established, the main investment agreement was concluded between an individual and the Cypriot QB CAPITAL CY LTD (QCCI LTD). It dealt with the transfer of funds to “trust management”. This was done in order to circumvent the norms of Russian legislation in the field of investment activity since such a service is not subject to licensing and is not subject to the supervision of the Central Bank. Clients were also explained that investing in foreign jurisdictions is the most attractive and profitable for them. As a screen, according to the investigation, until 2017, the alleged swindlers used QBF LLC, which had all the necessary licenses from the Central Bank. It was with this LLC that clients signed an additional agreement on brokerage services, trust management of funds, etc., believing that they were dealing with a legally operating organization. Meanwhile, investors' funds immediately appeared on account of QCCI LTD, from where they were subsequently transferred to settlement accounts of other non-resident companies, as well as FFIN BROKERAGE SERVICES INC (Belize), LA CASA INTERNATIONAL LTD (Marshall Islands), NOA Circle LTD (Nicosia).
In August 2018, when the Cypriot authorities had questions about the activities of QCCI LTD, of which Zelimkhan Munaev was then the director, the organization was liquidated. Its place was taken by new non-resident companies: White Lake Management Ltd (Cayman Islands) and Hong Kong's Simtelligence Company Limited.
All funds allegedly raised for investment were still at the disposal of the alleged organizers of the pyramid scheme. At the same time, some of them were actively legalized in Russia through development projects. One of them, according to investigators, could be, for example, the construction of the Gribovsky Les residential complex in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region. Housing is being built by the M1 Development company, founded by 33-year-old Roman Shpakov. He is also the beneficiary and founder of a number of companies under the single abbreviation QBF. However, it is unlikely that investigators will be able to ask him questions in the near future.
According to Kommersant, in January 2021, when the clouds began to thicken over his offspring, he left for the UAE, where he now lives. But so far, the investigation is considering Mr Shpakov as a possible organizer of the criminal scheme.
In QBF, the criminal prosecution of its structure was connected with the showdown of some former functionaries of Yekaterinburg and the Sverdlovsk region. The former are allegedly accused of embezzling budget funds, and they said that they had invested them in one of the investment companies. “Thus, the QBF company attracted the attention of the security forces. She was taken into development and searched. They are trying to push in order to receive funds in a volume that the company has never had. We are talking about amounts of several billion rubles,” QBF spokesman Nikolai Stepanov told Kommersant. “In the course of investigative measures, equipment was damaged in the company. By Monday, May 31, the technical support of the company should be fully restored. This will not affect client operations and the performance of departments in any way - money transfers, transactions and settlements will be carried out within the terms specified in the regulations and contracts. The accounts of the company and customers are functioning; there are no failures in the financial activities of the company.”
Recall that just a month ago, in the neighbouring Empire Tower in Moscow City; police officers closed a similar investment platform - Shumakov and Partners LLC. Its co-founders, Georgy Gats and Denis Shumakov, are now under arrest for similar manipulations. Moreover, the latter, before opening his own business in 2016, was a senior financial adviser to the same QBF company.
Financial pyramids reminded themselves.
Article by Kommersant: 01 June 2021,
Translated in English:
What signs of fraud were seen in the work of the QBF investment company? The financial group QBF called the information about the fraud a discredit. The police believe that she was withdrawing clients' money offshore. Top managers are arrested. The investigation saw signs of a financial pyramid in the work of the investment company. “Kommersant FM” found the affected investors; they really had problems when trying to take the money. How much could they lose? About this - Ivan Koryakin.
For three hours, Zelimkhan Munaev refused to open the door of his apartment on Nikolaev Street, near the Government House. And when the security forces began to open it, the businessman, who decided to surrender, could not open it; the half-broken door jammed and had to be broken. So the co-founder and managing director of the QBF financial group was detained. Together with Munaev, the company's lawyer Evgenia Rossieva is involved in the case. The investigation suspects them of particularly large-scale fraud.
The company allegedly attracted funds from citizens under the guise of investment and took them offshore. In the “trust management” of QBF were, among other things, the money of the interlocutor of Kommersant FM Evgeny: “I have been a client since 2013. In 2019, I filed a refund order. And so far, I've only received about 5% of what I'm owed. So-called financial advisors usually start disappearing when you turn to them for a refund.”
Eugene lost a six-figure dollar amount. And this is probably not a record: QBF focused on wealthy clients, who, according to some reports, had access to budget funds. The calculation was that these people, having lost money, would not turn to the police. After all, they will not prove the legitimacy of their origin later.
They attracted customers with a yield of 20%, and investors learned about it, as a rule, through word of mouth. Some of them were paid some dividends, but, as the investigation believes, at the expense of subsequent investors.
Some have been trying to withdraw money for two years, says lawyer Vitaly Markelov. He represented 16 investors in a dispute with QBF. The conflict was resolved before the trial. “Managers disappeared, did not get in touch, went on sick leave, went on vacation. Negotiations began after the submission of this claim.
Within a month, we probably reached an agreement on a debt repayment schedule. And this debt was repaid to my clients,” explains Markelov.
QBF admitted that there were indeed problems with communication, but they were temporary. Otherwise, the published information “has the purpose of harming the business reputation of the company, as well as the honour, dignity and business reputation of individual citizens who at various times were related to the company’s activities.”
What could be wrong with this activity? According to the investigation, a Cypriot company and a Russian company worked under the same roof and had a license from the Central Bank. Still, they were a screen because additional agreements were signed with it, and the money was sent offshore.
Part of the funds was legalized through development projects, Kommersant FM writes, including in Odintsovo near Moscow, where a local residential complex is being built by a company whose founder, Roman Shpakov, is considered the beneficiary of several structures under the guise of QBF. According to the publication, the businessman is hiding in the UAE. Investor Evgeny, who expects to return his money, hopes that he has not disappeared without a trace: “Maybe something will be pulled out of their assets, I don’t know. Roman Shpakov will be found, and his apartment in Dubai will be taken away from him and sold. Let's see what happens. I would like to hope for the best."
The total amount of debt to clients is estimated at 5-7 billion rubles - at least, the security officials counted that much. Will investors be able to get them? There are few chances, says Mikhail Fatkin, a partner at the law firm FMG Group: “If this money is available on the accounts of these organizations, there are chances. If those persons against whom criminal cases are initiated want to close the damage, there is a possibility.
If they consider that it is more profitable for them not to cover the damage, then the money, of course, will not be returned.”
It is strange that the claims have arisen only now, continues Fatkin. The company has been working for a long time and quite successfully. It is possible that she is under pressure. But this, however, does not negate the fact that there could be dark spots in her activity. Which, on the other hand, has not yet been proven.
Investments went offshore.
The police uncovered a pyramid scheme.
Article by Kommersant: 12 August 2021,
Translated in English:
As it became known to Kommersant-Ural, more than a hundred Urals residents, including fairly well-known business people, are trying to return their investments from the QBF investment company, whose licenses were cancelled by the Central Bank. In particular, they joined the collective appeal to the ICR, the prosecutor's office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB (the document is at the disposal of the editors) with a request to initiate a criminal case against the head of the company, Roman Shpakov, for fraud. QBF does not comment on the situation. The Central Bank noted that the company's customers knew about the risks and lack of guarantees on its part.
Local clients told Kommersant Ural about the problems with the return of funds transferred to the management of the QBF investment company. According to their estimates, more than 500 investors from all over Russia have not been able to return the money since May, of which about 100 are residents of the Urals.
The financial group QBF Portfolio Management has been operating since 2008. It includes three companies: IC "KubiF", "KyuBiF Asset Management", and "Kyu. Broker". The owner of the financial group is Roman Shpakov. At the end of 2020, the company served more than 2 thousand customers and had branches in six Russian cities. On July 8, the Central Bank cancelled her license as a professional participant in the securities market. Among the violations are failure to comply with the instructions of the Central Bank, violation of the requirements for the activities of securities management, for the organisation of a risk management system. The licenses expired on January 20, 2022; QBF is obliged to ensure the return of property to customers by January 19.
According to Alena Tkachuk, one of the investors, QBF offered investors the purchase of options through its sister company Q. Broker LLC, explaining its actions with maximum convenience for clients, the reliability of the entire financial group and significant authorised capital. “But, as it turned out, the company did not buy shares related to IPO options with the money raised from investors. Part of the money was invested in development projects of the beneficiary of the group of companies, and the company withdrew most of the client funds abroad,” the investor said.
One of the investors, a businessman from Yekaterinburg, Ilya Borzenkov, could not return the assets transferred to QBF in the amount of 974 million rubles, the company's client Igor Ptitsa told Kommersant-Ural. The Borzenkov family moved these funds to QBF in trust management in the period from 2016 to 2018. After the entrepreneur could not withdraw the deposit, his son Maxim Borzenkov turned to law enforcement agencies. Ilya Borzenkov told Kommersant-Ural he "gave enough interviews on this topic, let other investors share their sad story."
More than 250 QBF investors sent a collective appeal to the heads of the TFR, the prosecutor's office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB, in which they asked for assistance in returning deposits and to initiate a criminal case against the head of the company, Roman Shpakov, under articles 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Fraud”) and 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Organization of the criminal community"). To coordinate their actions, clients created a chat in Telegram, which now has 662 subscribers. The QBF press service declined to comment on the situation.
Earlier, Kommersant reported on the arrest of QBF employees Zelimkhan Munaev and Evgenia Rossieva in Moscow; they were charged with fraud (part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The total damage from the actions of alleged fraudsters is estimated at 5-7 billion rubles.
According to investigators, the company provided its clients with false reports on the investment of their money and transferred the funds themselves to offshore accounts and invested in development projects in the Moscow region.