Limassol and Belgrade are two European towns that Israeli internet entrepreneurs have conquered. Belgrade, the Manhattan of the Balkans, has a thriving boiler room scene that is still going strong. We began our series with Armin Ordodary, a resident of Cyprus and arguably the most notorious boiler room operator in Belgrade. He controls a boiler room through his Bizserve DOO, whose agents use numerous schemes to target clients across Europe. Nikos Andreou, a Cypriot, is also involved in Belgrade through his boiler rooms Olympus Prime and Parogan. In addition to Pantelakis Kyriakou. But let’s tell the tale correctly.
The European Head Office of Parogan, Olympus Prime and Asgard
The hub of Israel’s financial business in Europe is Cyprus. It is also home to the corporate offices of Israeli payment processors like BridgerPay and Praxis Cashier, as well as the headquarters of financial businesses subject to CySEC regulation. Because of the Israeli banking sector, Limassol is seeing great growth. The Israeli financial hub in Limassol is crucial to Cyprus. Money enters the nation and jobs are produced. Money, not necessarily pure money. This is the lifeblood of the state, CySEC, and the local economy. If it weren’t for the Israeli investment businesses, CySEC would become unimportant.
Numerous phone centres, often known as boiler rooms behind both legitimate and illicit brokers, are located in Belgrade. Because the boiler room agents like to refer to themselves as financial consultants, Belgrade became the Balkan equivalent of Manhattan. It is a very dynamic and high-rise city. The Israelis created the Belgrade boiler room scenario. In Belgrade at the height of the binary options boom, up to 6,000 Israelis worked and partied. In this sense, the local cuisine has a wealth of stories to share.
The ownership of the boiler rooms demonstrates the tight relationship between Belgrade and Cyprus.
The Cypriot shareholders
Three of the top five boiler rooms in Belgrade are solely owned by Nikos Andreou and Pantelakis Kyriakou. As for Asgard DOO (LinkedIn), Pantelakis Kyriakou is the only stakeholder; his fellow countryman has shares in Olympus Prime DOO and Parogan DOO. Svetlana Maksovic, a Serbian, is listed as a director at Olympus Prime and Asgard (what a name!). Max-Sebastian Winterfeldt is a well-connected lawyer who is a director of Parogan. With a long history of conducting frauds, Parogan is the top boiler room in Belgrade (see LinkedIn ad on the left).
Regarding their work, the three boiler room operators keep things under wraps. They either don’t have any websites or social media accounts, or they just post sparse amounts of material online. As usual, boiler room operators describe themselves as either marketing agencies, call centres, or outsourcing specialists. Sometimes also as financial advisors.
The local manager
Asgard and Olympus Prime is Svetlana Maksovic, a Serbian. Under Svetlana Maksovic (shown right), Olympus Prime and Asgard (LinkedIn) both operate boiler rooms with a focus on retention management. Aleksa Jeremic (LinkedIn) is a retention manager at Olympus Prime. Dragana Jaksic (LinkedIn), the company’s HR manager, was formerly employed by rival Parogan. Asgard’s Darko Petrovic (LinkedIn) is an expert in retention. We can rule out the possibility that Olympus Prime and Asgard are marketing agencies based on the job description seen on LinkedIn. However, that was already apparent.
The Paragon website is a distinct species. Born in 1971 in Serbia, its director Max-Sebastian Winterfeldt practiced law in Serbia at Borozan Winterfeldt until 2004. After that, he worked for a number of German corporations, including WAZ and Porsche. He is a proficient German speaker. That makes perfect sense for the head of a boiler room that has a bad reputation for targeting investors and customers who speak German.
On his website, Parogan describes himself as a global leader in digital advertising. But the webpage is so awful it’s ridiculous. The fact that Parogan has removed its social media presence speaks loudly. You won’t get anywhere on the website if you click on the social media icons. People apparently want to work less publicly and in the dark. A world-leading online marketing agency?
Max-Sebastian Winterfeldt and Svetlana Maksovic, both Serbian directors, were steadily growing their businesses. They get handsome compensation for doing this. They con investors in Europe and make a tiny fortune.
Based on the material at our disposal, it is clear that Israeli businessmen do indeed own Parogan, Olympus Prime, and Asgard. Gal Barak and his partner Gery Shalon had previously worked at Parogan. We have confirmation of this from local individuals who worked with Barak to run other boiler rooms and payment processors in Belgrade. On the other hand, nothing is genuinely known about their participation in Parogan. All the same, it should be rather obvious that Israel owns Parogan.