Austrian Grand Prix sponsor “myworld”: What lies behind this?

Even if myWorld/Eyetime/Lyoness/Lyconet etc. is being renamed on a regular basis, the product remains the same with changed or amended sets of agreements.

“Speedweek” used to be a weekly issued motorsport magazine and was converted to a pure online medium, which inter alia contains a database of more than 70 racing series.

Already in August 2019, they published an article headlined “Lyoness – an obscure new partner of Dorna”.

Since then, myWorld/Eyetime etc. has not become less obscure. Far from it!

The following article by Oliver Feldtweg of SPEEDWEEK puts it succinctly!

By Oliver Feldtweg – 16 August 2019 11:12 a.m.

At the Austrian Grand Prix, we met again another “naming rights” sponsor of Dorna, since the company “myworld” or “myWorldsolutions” has bought the naming rights for the motorcycle GP in Styria. Whatever this company concretely produces, renders, offers or sells can only be guessed with plenty of imagination.

Behind the company name, there are the same contemporaries as once were behind the company Lyoness which had bought banner advertisements at the Grand Prix in Spielberg in 2016. In 2017, “MotoGP cashback” bought the naming rights for the Austrian Grand Prix, in 2018 it was “eyetime” and this year it is the turn of “myworld”.

Whoever wants to look behind the scenes of this illustrious business model, will find an obscure type of shopping community. Members receive 3 or 5 percent “cashback” per transaction, as long as enough new members are recruited. Critics speak of a snowball system.

In some European countries like Switzerland, there had been legal proceedings, it was said that there was a diffuse company construct. The business cards of the top employees showed quite different company addresses in different countries. Surprisingly, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of all companies from Lyoness to eyetime to myworld is always the same – it is Hubert Freidl. In 2003, he founded Lyoness International AG in Buchs, Switzerland. Operational business activities are primarily conducted from Austria. In 2018, the company was renamed to myworld.

In 2016, Lyoness announced that it was operating in 47 countries and had more than 130,000 partner companies, 13 million customers and 250,000 points of acceptance worldwide. These statements are not verifiable.

The obscure business model lead to numerous actions and investigations against the company. In Norway, Lyoness respectively Cashback was banned because it was classified as “illegal pyramid scheme”. Also in Italy, the antitrust authority stated that Lyoness was a pyramid scheme and the company was sentenced to a fine of 3.2 million Euros.

In 2011, was a trial in Austria. In this context too, there was the allegation of “financial malversations” in the form of an “illegal profit forecast system” respectively of a “pyramidal built snowball system”, but the case was closed. Lyoness calls his business model a service company.At the request of the Austrian Press Agency, the company founded by Hubert Freidl stated, that myWorld Solutions provided its “know-how for various international companies and organisations”. One was offering solutions in the fields of product development, product management, IT, marketing, PR and communication as well as fan and customer loyalty.

As a Grand Prix name sponsor of the Motorcycle-GP 2019 in Styria, myworld also bought the tickets of a complete tribune with approx. 3,000 seats in the finish curve, but most of the time it was quite unfrequented.

Already a year ago, the marketing specialists of Dorna were wondering about the surprisingly small number of VIP guests of the GP sponsor.

But invoices are paid promptly by this cashback companies with changing names. In Formula 1, this ominous shopping community also was a GP name sponsor at Spielberg. On this occasion, the cashback company also did not appear very pompously, it only put up an inflatable tent and two rollups. Such an appearance was unworthy of a Formula 1 title sponsor, so it was to be heard. Because such a deal costs about 2.5 million.

But “myworld” is also annual partner of the Red-Bull-Ring racing track in Styria. Although no bustling marketing crew can be spotted and the backgrounds of the business model remain obscure, “myworld” spends ludicrous piles of money for the promotion of the company name.

Public Prosecution Cologne (file nr. 115 Js 424/19) starts again with preliminary proceedings against Managing Director of Lyoness Deutschland GmbH Guido van Rüth!

With a letter of 12 July 2019, the initially closed proceedings (file nr. 115 Js 915/16) were have been resumed and preliminary proceedings due to infringement of § 16 UWG (Unfair Competition Act) were initiated (file nr. 115 Js 424/19).

Writing the prosecutor’s office translated:

“Preliminary proceedings against Mr. Guido Josef van Rüth a. o.

Alleged crime: Fraud

Dear Mr. Ecker,

I hereby inform you, that in accordance with your letter from 13 May 2019, new proceedings against the accused von Rüth because of an infringement of § 16 UWG (so-called snowball system) in connection with Lyconet’s Terms and Conditions of 2014 were initiated and are being worked on under the file number 115 Js 424/19. In regard to your further complaint, I submitted the file to Prosecutor-General of Cologne.

With best regards

Prosecutor”

With his letter of 13 May 2019, Bernhard Ecker lodged a 17-page complaint against the closing of the proceedings. Within this complaint, indications and facts concerning Lyoness, that obviously have not been further investigated before, were highlighted and reasoned in detail.

In particular, attention was drawn to the fact, that Lyoness has not – as alleged to the Public Prosecution – stopped to apply certain business practises. Nothing could be further from halting this business practises. They only were redrafted even more opaque and confusing.

Under item 8 of the claim of 13 May 2019 it is, inter alia, explained:

The business practices under examination have not been stopped but are being pursued with a construct that is even more opaque.

Compared to the previous “advance payment system” de facto nothing has changed but, in principle, only the wording was changed. Until November 2014, Lyoness named their investments “Advance payments on vouchers”, with which members basically only could obtain considerable profits if they recruited new investors. Later, when the WKStA (Public Prosecutor’s Office against Corruption) investigated against Lyoness because of the forbidden snowball system according to § 168a StGB (Criminal Code) as well as because of serious commercial fraud, and the first judgement of Civil Courts obligated them to make repayments, Lyoness drafted new Terms and Conditions and renamed its distribution from Lyoness to Lyconet, since the name Lyoness – especially in the media – already had become very negatively attributed. The conversion to the new Terms and Conditions was forced since members could only log in to their online member account if they had accepted the Terms and Conditions. Meanwhile, also Lyconet has fallen into disrepute so that the term “Cashbackworld” was chosen.

We welcome the well implemented and renewed measures of investigation as well as the transmission of further critical issues to the General Public Prosecution of Cologne.

We advise all German Lyoness victims to directly contact the Public Prosecution’s Office Cologne under the file number 115 Js 424/19 and to lodge possible claims against Lyoness in a well-documented way.

Swiss judgement of 4 June 2019 complete! Lyoness Chief Legal Officer Dr. Hubert Reif asks for a supplement to our Article!

Of course, we can understand the deep concerns of Lyoness since the extensively reasoned Swiss judgement causes the already internationally devastating reputation of Lyoness to slump to bottomless depths.

It was therefore no surprise when Lyoness Chief Legal Officer and sole shareholder of Lyconet International AG, Dr. Hubert Reif approached BECM Inc. in writing and “invited” us to point out in our article “New Swiss judgement of 4 June 2019! Legal disaster for Lyoness!”, that this judgement has “not yet” become legally effective.

We are pleased to take up this “invitation”, as in our article, we did not claim the judgement to be legally effective. Solely the enforceability of the judgement was reproduced, and this can be read on page 26 of the judgement.

The legal remedies point out the common 30-day time-limit for an appeal. So far, Lyoness has always filed such an appeal to first-instance decisions but has never been successful. Primarily, this is aimed at delaying the inevitable occurrence of another legally efficient conviction as a snowball system. Perhaps, for the first time, Lyoness’ responsible persons are able to present current court decisions that acquit Lyoness of applying a snowball system’s business practises? For commissioned and payed reports, as supplied before, we ask to be abandoned.

However, we are able to show numerous reference numbers and business numbers with final convictions, without consideration of decisions of Norwegian and Italian authorities.

Dr. Hubert Reif would do well to stop his client and Swiss marketer Eduard, or as he calls himself, “Ede” Buser. He alleges on his website: ( Ede Buser nonsense , please note red arrows! )

“Where does the decision say, that we are ILLegal or a pyramid system or a snowball system” (Spelling so from the website of Ede Buser).

Additionally, Ede Buser posts – which is of almost unrivalled failure – the last page of the judgement of 4 June 2019. But see yourself: ( Judgment Switzerland 04.06.2019 )

The value of Ede Buser’s publications is also reflected in his alleged research for BECM Inc. The much-praised “Swiss precision” does not seem to be a characteristic of Ede Buser. The company BECM Inc. is duly registered, only man called Ede Buser says that he could not find it.

Dr. Hubert Reif would to very well to keep the reins on his out-of-control “leading Swiss marketer Ede Buser” since his erratic and unworldly publications are damaging the already tarnished image of the snowball system Lyoness.

New Swiss judgement of 4 June 2019! Legal disaster for Lyoness!

To begin with, here is the best phrase from the current Swiss judgement (Country Court of Werdenberg-Sarganserland, reference number: VV.2018.82-WS1ZE-HWI). The judgement shall be enforceable.

“The lack of transparency of the defendant’s (Lyoness) business model does not mean that its unfairness is not detectable. In this sense, the unfair snowball system is transparent.” Or in short: “The only thing that is transparent concerning Lyoness is the snowball system!”

The currently legally binding judgement (reference number VV.2018.82-WS1ZE-HWI) of 4 June 2019 of the Swiss court notes:

Already the minutes of hearings recorded the statement of the Swiss Lyoness lawyer Adrian Bieri: “Furthermore, the […] plaintiff’s allegation, that Lyoness was operating a snowball system, will have devastating consequences for the reputation of Lyoness, in case of an approval of this legal action.”

With the judgement of 4 June 2019, the court did approve the action and did not let itself be blinded by the lawyer’s weepy objection. In this case again, the court decided in favour of the plaintiff and imposed a five-figure amount of CHF. Furthermore, it was clarified once more that Lyoness is a snowball system.

The worldwide reputation of Lyoness already is, to put it in the words of the Lyoness lawyer, so “devastating” that this judgement may hardly carry any weight. The deception of the bought sports sponsorship anyway only works for people who think that power simply comes from the socket.

The plaintiff had registered himself as a private person and his company with Lyconet and had agreed to the new Terms and Conditions and the Lyconet Agreement including the Compensation Plan. The grandiosely announced participation in a worldwide dealer network once more turned out to be pure “Lyoness propaganda”.

This also shows the increasing dissatisfaction and disappointment of the SMEs. As soon as the forecast sales are not emerging and questions are being asked, the global company Lyoness quickly becomes silent towards its members. But as soon as a new idea for filling up the coffers is concocted by Lyoness’ creativity department, Lyconet marketers will pounce on the SMEs using the tried and tested wording “…now everything is going through the roof”, “whoever is not taking part right now, is going to miss a lifetime opportunity” and so on. By the continual renewing and advancing the Terms and Conditions and the implementation of further Additional Agreements, SMS are more and more getting enmeshed in an opaque network of contracts. Apart from numerous Austrian courts, Norwegian and Italian authorities, once more that is also the view of the Swiss courts.

With the judgement of 4 June 2019, the court states:

(Notice: Within the excerpts from the 26-page judgement text, we will add the company’s name “Lyoness” to the word “defendant”, so that even the self-proclaimed “Lyconet Chief Manager” Ede Buser will understand it! It will be rather interesting, how he is going to interpret this judgement towards his followers via his fake website www.basel-lyconet.ch.)

……According to Article 2 UWG, every business practice, that is deceptive or violates the good faith principle and affects the relationship between competitors or between providers and customers, is unfair and unlawful. According to Art. 3 (1) lit. r. UWG, a person is in particular acting unfair, if he/she offers the supply of goods, the payment of premiums or other services on terms that mainly imply a benefit obtained by the recruitment of further people and to a lesser extent by the sale or consumption of goods or services (snowball scheme or pyramid scheme)…..

Starting with page 15 (and others), the court further notes:

…..Despite the theoretical bisection and the mostly confusing information in the Terms and Conditions and the Additional Terms and Conditions, the economically relevant payment depends on the payments of new members of the defendant’s system (Lyoness)…..

…..Thus, there is a redistribution from the pyramid’s base up to its top. This is demonstrated by the remuneration structure of the business model which almost exclusively comes from a member’s Lifeline. The Lifeline of a member consists of the new members he/she recruited (2nd level) and the members recruited by them (3rd level)…..

….. After the 3rd level, the Terms and Conditions and the Additional Terms and Conditions draw an artificial barrier and try to disguise or shorten the pyramid structure inherent to the business model. And so is written in the Terms and Conditions, that no friendship bonus can be obtained for other indirectly recruited members. “Other indirectly recruited members” are the members acquired by indirectly recruited members and so on. In other words, the member will not obtain remunerations for payments made by members lower than the 4th level of his/her Lifeline…..

….. The generated advanced member bonuses are not paid out by the defendant (Lyoness) but can only be used within the System of the defendant (Lyoness) by converting them to so-called units that can be used for purchases at partner companies in the form of vouchers. The use of the vouchers for purchases at partner companies effects the remuneration of the upper levels of the member who purchases. The system ligation of the defendant’s services (Lyoness) effects the dissolution of the artificial barrier between the 3rd and the 4th level and allows the money flow from the base to the top. …..

…..Only for the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned, that all new recruited members are contracting with the defendant (Lyoness) respectively the initiator of the system, which makes the system of the defendant (Lyoness) a snowball system in the proper meaning of the word. As a summary, it can be stated, that the first offence prerequisite of Art. 3 (1) lit. r. UWG is fulfilled……

…..The lack of transparency of the business model or its remuneration structure is a further indication of the existence of an unfair snowball system according to Art. 3 (1) lit. R.UWG. Both the business model of the defendant (Lyoness) and its remuneration structure are opaque. The opacity touches not only individual components, but rather also their overall structure respectively their economical interaction.…..

…..In summary, the business model of the defendant (Lyoness) is an unfair snowball system, pyramid scheme or Ponzi scheme according to Art. 3 (1) lit. R. UWG…..

….. Contracts closed on the basis of an unfair snowball system are ethically unacceptable…..

…..The business model as a whole is unfair…..

Note: If one compares all previous judgements, it has to be stated that judgments are becoming more concrete and that the so-called improved or adjusted Terms and Conditions and Additional Terms and Conditions, Lyoness uses to eliminate the problem, are only giving them a little more time. An appeal may be lodged against this judgment.

It’s going to court! Swiss myWorld/Lyconet marketer and website owner “Ede Buser” convicted by law for making untrue statements!

On his website (https://lyconet-basel.ch/infos/tatsachen/), the Swiss Lyconet marketer Ede Buser, who is also known as a great critic of BE Konfliktmanagement and Ben Ecker, took every opportunity to disparage the work of BE Konfliktmanagement or myself and to accuse me and my company of spreading fake news. For this purpose, he published a number of incorrect statements.

Just as Jef Rowlison and Chris Thomson, he also held seminars and tried to keep his Lyconet followers in a mood to invest by making false claims about me or BE Konfliktmanagement. The final convictions of Lyoness due to operating a snowball system in Austria and Switzerland as well as the prohibition of Lyoness in Norway were presented as if they were “declared settled”, “irrelevant” or “paid false statements from competitors”.

Although we have urged Mr. Buser to remove his incorrect claims from his website respectively to portray a correct picture of events, he did not do so. For this reason, BECM Inc. filed a suit against him for a cease-and-desist, a revoke and the publication of this revoke, for compensation for damages and for compensation according to the media law. Now, the court has agreed with all accusations.

With the judgement of 13 July 2019 (Az. 11 Cg 36/19k), the commercial court of Vienna (AUT) has convicted Mr. Buser:

“The defendant (Mr. Ede Buser)

1. is obligated to revoke his statement that the plaintiff was acting for his own benefit and for economic reasons, that he was sending anonymous post to partner companies of Lyoness respectively Lyoness retailers and that he was calling them illegally, that he was sending untruths to partner companies and that he was deliberately concealing facts and that he was spreading fake news in order to unsettle the retailers. Further, this revocation has to be published on the website https://lyconet-basel.ch/infos/tatsachen/ or otherwise, an immediate execution will be enforced.

2. The defendant is obligated to refrain from making the statements mentioned above or statements with the same meaning. Otherwise, an immediate execution will be enforced.

3. The defendant is obligated to publish the judgement (without the part concerning the costs) on the homepage of the website www.lyconet-basel.ch or a possible following domain for thirty days at his own charge. The text has to be bordered by a frame in bold print and there have to be the words “On behalf of the Republic”, also in bold print and in 20 to 24 pt. The file number and the date of the decision have to be in at least 16 pt. and the names of the litigants, and their representatives have to be in bold print, spaced and in 12 pt. The publication has to be at least 2/3 of the screen page.

4. The defendant is obligated to pay EUR 3,000. – plus 4% interest within 14 days from 3 May 2019 to the complaining party.

5. The defendant is liable for all future damages that will result from the statements and/or the dissemination of the statements according to 1. of the form of order.

6. The defendant is further obligated to compensate the procedural costs of the complaining party of EUR 3,822.62 according to § 19a RAO within 14 days for the attention of the complaining party’s representative.

We are going to check Mr. Buser’s website for the compliance with the judgement on a daily basis. In case of infringements of the judgement, we will immediately file a further suit. However, it can be reasonable assumed that Mr. Buser will not comply with the judgement.

Lukoil discount! 1% with the Cashback World Card, 6% with the Lukoil-Card!

LUKOIL is a Russian petroleum company that yielded a stock market value of $ 60 billion in 2018. But more on that later.

Time and again, we receive reports on how use- and senseless the Cashback World Card actually is. There are very few shops which accept the card and the discounts are meagre. Furthermore, one was bound to overpriced and nameless products, the card was nothing for smart spenders.

The Latvian entrepreneur Vrigis M. was introduced to the loyalty programme of Lyoness by a friend who had asserted that it could be very useful for his company. Virgis himself liked the concept of network marketing.

After having attended several trainings, he decided to participate in the Lyconet network marketing programme and bought the starter package for EUR 350. These EUR 350.- were spent to buy units within the Latvian programme. Further, he had immediately activated the Easy Shop Function that costs EUR 50 to 150 per month. With paying EUR 50 per month, he would gain access to all functions of the Lyconet partner profiles.

First, he thought it was an excellent business idea – a customer card for all everyday purchases. By linking the website with his own Facebook advertisements, he managed to add hundreds of users to his downline. Of course, he had also carried out classic network marketing activities in order to introduce the business model to others.

“Overall, I have got 19 units – 4 in the Latvian Balance Programme and 15 in Balance Programmes of other countries. Also, I have attended several seminars in Italy, Prague etc…” Besides fun and empty promises, nothing else had been there, he adds shaking his head.

Virgis tried to build up a dream, mainly on the basis of card users but after he had distributed more than 700 cards, “his income” hardly had reached EUR 10. People told him that neither in shops and restaurants nor at the petrol station, it was worth using the Cashback Card, provided it was accepted at all.

“It is a fact, that, in reality, people are not using this card. Due to the lack of area wide and established retail chains, the products needed in everyday life can not be bought with the card. The ones that use the card the most are participants who really are convinced of the Lyconet programme, who are changing their commutes just for getting the 1 or 2% of their daily purchases back. In my opinion, the saving this card offers is simply too little.”, the 29-year-old says.

The partnership with LUKOIL petrol stations (popular petrol stations in the Baltic states), Lyoness had promoted with great fanfare, were a good example. With the LUKOIL card, customers get a discount of 4 to 6 cents per litre, with the Cashback Card, the discount is just 1% at a purchase of more than EUR 100! Additionally, the discount will be transferred to the Lyoness account within a month or even after a longer time, when using the LUKOIL Card, the discounts of 4 to 6 cents per litre are received immediately. Everyone who uses the Cashback Card at a LUKOIL petrol station made a fool of oneself.

Most recently, Virgis attended the Elite Seminar at Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. He travelled there together with four “even more” enthusiastic new marketers. In the meantime, he had read about the convictions as a snowball system and the prohibition in Norway. At the Elite Seminar, questions concerning these matters were downplayed with harsh words and diminished as “paid sabotage by enviers”, he explains.

Meanwhile, he had found again common sense and conscience, he tells with a smile and concludes: “I am sure. In this company, money can only be made by making other people become participants of the Lyconet Network Marketing. If you ever have attended a Lyconet training, you will have heard that it you can make money with this programme in a number of ways. And at the seminars, they always tell you, that “real money” can only be made if you recruit as many people as possible.”

Lyoness: Italian customers are claiming repayments amounting to EUR 2 million!

The Guardia di Finanza (ital. financial police) of Turin, Corsico and Bologna has received the first claims against Lyoness lodged by customers who are claiming the repayment of money. The total sum of claims amounts to EUR two million. Lyoness is a “shopping community” that had been sanctioned by the Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza e il Mercato (AGCM – Ital. competition authority) because it had put up a forbidden snowball system through which the founders of the community had enriched themselves whereas new sometimes had invested considerable sums without retrieving them or even making profit.

In Italy, there are 241 victims to fraud who are represented by the law office 3A-Valore with the objective to initiate a class action suit at the court of Verona where Lyoness Italia has its legal seat. Together they are claiming a sum of EUR 1,815 million. In 2017 Lyoness Italia had a turnover of EUR 53 million.

In January 2019, the AGCM had concluded that “the support system, used to distribute a cashback system for purchases of goods (means: a refund of a certain percentage of the money spent at partner retailers), is unlawful because it includes a snowball system which represents a misleading business practise according to the Codice del Consumo (Ital. consumer protection legislation)”. The AGCM therefore imposed a fine of EUR 3,2 million on the company. Members had to pay an entrance fee of EUR 2,400 but what really made the system grow was the investment of other customers that also paid an entrance fee.

In Turin, the suit was filed by a 25-year-old man who had joined Lyoness in December 2017 and had paid EUR 50.- per month additionally to the initial fee. He also bought a share of EUR 1,500 and paid another EUR 500.- in order to participate in an event Lyoness had organised in Prague and where he got convinced to buy another share. A total investment “of EUR 7,000.- in a company that had attracted me in an opaque manner and on the basis of false facts, promises that were not kept and a working method that is incompatible with my ideas on morality.”, as he reported to the financial officials.

In a press release, Lyoness declared: “Our business model provides that every person who signs up for the free programme Cashback World, can retrieve the repayment of a part of the price paid at a partner retailer as well as bonus points that bring further advantages. Lyoness has made some amendments worldwide to guarantee maximum transparency and to prevent some individual marketers from making irrational investments, and therefore contravene orders from Lyoness itself, before they have not at least retrieved an appropriate part of the revenues generated by the system itself. Since Lyoness does not agree to the authority’s position at all, especially not in relation to the accused snowball system, it appealed against the judgement in order to enforce our rights and to prove that the complaints are groundless.”

Press Source: https://torino.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/07/03/news/truffa_lyoness_i_consumatori_chiedono_rimborsi_per_due_milioni_di_euro-230221505/?refresh_ce

Note: This is exactly the same state of affairs like in Norway approx. two years ago. Back then Lyoness also denied operating a snowball system although it had already been sentenced as such in Austria and Switzerland.

Supreme court sentences the „bogus constructs” of myWorld/Lyoness/Lyconet!

With its national and international company names Lyoness/Lyconet/myWorld has always been playing the shell game with courts and victims. Despite massive resistance, the Viennese Lawyer Dr. Josef Fromhold has managed to realise a judgement of the Austrian supreme court that ends the game of hide and seek.

With the resolution 4 Ob 69/19d of 28 May 2019 the Austrian supreme court in Vienna has confirmed an important judgement and rejected the recourse filed by Lyoness. For the first time the bogus constructs used by Lyoness have now been recognised as such.

Lyoness Europe AG with its head quarter in Switzerland have used a sophisticated firm construction in order to sabotage the enforcement of the injured parties’ rights. With a back and forth of international and national lack of competence, the snowball system Lyoness so far had juggled quite cleverly:

Lyoness Europe AG was the contractual partner of all European members. Only members from Switzerland did not – as it would seem obvious – have Lyoness Europe AG with its headquarters in Switzerland as their contract partner. Contractual partner of Swiss members was the subsidiary, Lyoness Management GmbH, with its headquarters in Austria.

Paradoxically, on the one hand, the international purchasing group for all European members is operated by Lyoness Europe AG with its head quarter in Switzerland, and on the other hand – but only for members in Switzerland – it is operated by Lyoness Management GmbH with its headquarters in Austria. Therefore, members in Austria and Switzerland did not have a contractual partner with headquarters in their own country. There is no factual justification for this. Lyoness Europe AG is only used as a front since it has not yet carried out any business activity in Switzerland at all and only has an accommodation address there. The whole business is operated out of Austria. All companies of Lyoness responsible for organisational matters are located in Austria. The operational business is controlled out of Graz, where also the legal department of the company is located. Actions of development, distribution and promotion are operated out of Austria, this has also been stated by the Austrian Public Prosecutors Office for Corruption within the proceedings against Lyoness Europe AG.

As a point of contact, the member did have a company with the same name (Lyoness Austria GmbH, Lyoness Deutschland GmbH etc.), but he/she unconsciously contracted with a company from abroad. Lyoness AG therefore falsely purported to be a national contract partner.

Until recently, the national companies were subsidiaries of Lyoness Europe AG. But from the moment the first suits against the swiss company were filed in Austria on the ground that the Austrian national company was a subsidiary of Lyoness Europe AG, Lyoness Austria GmbH was renamed mWA my World Austria GmbH.

Also, the shares in Lyoness Austria GmbH were transferred to myWorld International Limited with headquarters in London, that had been founded only shortly before. The share capital of this company amounts to laughable 100 pounds and the company itself does not have any revenues.

Lyoness now alleged that they did not have anything to do with Lyoness Austria GmbH anymore.

This allegation is clearly disproved: Hubert Freidl was accounted for “person with significant control” (at least 75% of the shares, at least 75% of the voting rights and the right to nominate and dismiss the majority of the companies’ officers).

Since this also had become clear, myWorld Holdings Limited was presented as “person with significant control” on 21 January 2018.

But myWorld Holdings Limited with the same address, 3rd Floor 40 Bank Street London E14 5NR and a share capital of 100 pounds is a property of Freidl: The shareholders are Hubert Freidl with 90% and Marko Sedovnik with 10%. Hubert Freidl is again accounted for “person with significant control”.

The courts have sussed this game of hide and seek and on 21 August 2018, the regional court of Graz has decided that Lyoness Austria GmbH untypically had not only acted for itself but mainly for the parent company Lyoness Europe AG and had been under surveillance and control of it (AZ 257 C 841/17y). Lyoness Europe AG gave the impression that their subsidiary was under their full surveillance and that they were taking part in the national legal communication via their subsidiary, which was also named as their service company in the Terms and Conditions.

Contracts with national members had been processed via the subsidiary. Lyoness Europe AG at least conveyed the impression that its subsidiary is authorised to act and operate under their name. The plaintiff has the right to make legal transactions with Lyoness Europe AG exclusively via their subsidiary as their competent national company which also has a domestic bank account that is quoted in its commercial documents. The exact legal construction and the relationship between Lyoness Europe AG and its subsidiary were not completely transparent to the plaintiff, therefore it does not harm to know about the fact that Lyoness Europe AG has its head quarter in Switzerland

Lyoness Europe AG filed in a recourse to the Austrian supreme court and was rebuffed.

On 28 May 2019 the Austrian supreme court unmasked the bogus construct and stated that the change of names of Lyoness Austria GmbH and the sale of company shares are irrelevant. Lyoness Austria GmbH is a subsidiary of Lyoness Europe AG and therefore it is responsible for suits against Lyoness Europe AG.

The circumstances unmasked within the proceedings indicate a permanent establishment of the subsidiary as the centre of business activities of Lyoness Europe AG in Austria.

The consequence is that all European victims don’t have to file a suit[IB1]  in Switzerland anymore, but they can do it in their home country either at their place of residence or at the place of the headquarters of the national company.

There is now also the possibility for victims from all over Europe to file a suit against Lyoness Europe AG with the court in Austria, where their actual headquarters are. The address in Buchs, Switzerland which was declared to be the place of Lyoness Europe AG’s headquarters, is only a fake residence. In Austria, there have already been hundreds of judgements that have forced Lyoness to make repayments. This is for several reasons and mainly due to the operation of an unlawful snowball system.


Lyoness/Lyconet: Snowball system on Instagram: the main thing is quoting big names!

On 18 June 2019, the renowned economic magazine “WirtschaftsWoche” once more reported on the snowball system Lyoness/Lyconet. Here you can find the article:

With this promise Lyconet lures people in social networks. To gain confidence and trust, the company relies on famous partner companies – partly without their knowledge.

The man tried to gain my trust, especially by quoting famous names. Of course, this makes a good impression. It conveys reliability. Obi, Douglas, Media Markt, Fressnapf, McDonald’s, Walmart, Red Bull, even Formula One. They all were involved, he murmured on the phone.

He had sent me a message on Instagram to recruit me as a distributor for Lyoness. And I agreed. Not in order to become rich, as he had promised to me. But because I was curious.

Lyconet is a distribution platform that is currently cultivating one of the oldest rip-offs in social networks: the snowball system. And this via bonus cards by which one should save money while shopping. So-called Cashback cards. The man who contacted me via Instagram also distributes these cards. And he wants me to become a colleague.

Ironically in social networks, the world’s oldest trick works especially well: the snowball system. How criminals are abusing digital biotopes of vanity and self-staging.

The difference to the payback card known in Germany which one can use at every large chain: You get your money back, immediately when purchasing, he tells me on the phone. I would make money with passing my card on to other people who are using it for their purchases. With recruiting new companies. And with new distribution partners that I will recruit.

How much money I am making is measured in “Shopping Points” that are emerging every time somebody uses my card at a shop. Just like playing a video game: The more points I collect, the faster I will reach a new level of career. Hannes tells me that he was on level 3. Earnings: 200 EUR per month. At level 8, one could earn up to 150,000 EUR per month. Simply by other people that go shopping.

The snag: To make money, I first have to invest money. 299 EUR for the software with which I can register customers, companies and new marketers. And 2000 EUR for the Starter Package. On a reference day, I will get the money back and will additionally get a monthly participation in sales. At least, that is the promise.

In fact, as I learnt later, there are numerous people who make advance payments – but never see any money again. And there are some big companies standing out with their names rather involuntary.

In Germany, hardly any retailers are taking part. And certainly, no large chains. But: barbershops, nail spas, pubs. “Everyone who is in a bad economical position and considers the possibility for acquiring new customers via the discount card the last chance”, says a person who opted out of the Lyconet management and wants to remain anonymous. In truth, he tells me, the company bought large numbers of vouchers from large chains. This makes Lyconet a major client – and therefore called the large chains their partners in return. The vouchers were passed out to the marketers. Their value was not even merely in proportion to the money the marketers really invested.

Lyconet is related to some large chains by a so-called affiliate marketing program: Lyconet guides visitors of their own website to the sites of MediaMarkt, Müller or Saturn – and receives a commission for it. The large chains are not accepting Lyconet’s cashback card. To most of the people who are visiting the website of the purchasing group Lyconet it seems that these large chains are partner companies. Lyconet even gives them a partner shop ID, just like the small enterprises, that really are accepting the Cashback card, were given.

A phone call to Douglas: A speaker of the perfumery chain points out that Douglas was not a partner company of Lyconet. The connection was “only by a punctual cooperation in the field of affiliate marketing to only a very limited extent.” Douglas did not know anything about the dubious business practises of Lyconet, so the speaker says. In the future, they would stop any cooperation. Similar comments I hear from Saturn, MediaMarkt and Fressnapf. They all were listed by Lyconet as cashback partner companies. Without prior agreement.

Upon request, Lyconet rejects any dishonest intent. Lyconet did not have “any knowledge” of marketers who are making false promises of profits in social networks. They also reject the accusation of advertising with fake partner shops. Nevertheless, they are advertising with the logo of the fast food chain McDonald’s. The main thing is to quote big names! intent

REWE & PENNY deny partnership or collaboration with myWorld/Lyoness/Lyconet

The REWE Group is an internationally active company group based in Cologne dating back to the year 1927. The group’s sales lines include Billa, Penny, REWE and TOOM as well as DER Touristik Germany and ITS Reisen travel agents. Turnover from the entire REWE Group amounted to €54.14 billion in the 2016 fiscal year.

Seeing these illustrious and famous names listed as so-called business and collaboration partners with Lyoness (Cashback World) doesn’t ring true for any actual business partnership.

This harks back to the MasterCard ruse exposed in July 2016, where an ominous MASTERCARD credit card provider was sent a cease and desist order while Lyoness assumed the role of a hapless victim. In reality, Lyoness had previously established this credit card provider in Gibraltar through former employees.

There may well be small businesses and microenterprises that actually do have partnerships full of hopes and expectations with Lyoness. However, the REWE Group neither maintains nor aspires to any such connection with Lyoness or Cashback World, let alone a listing on their website.

Even so, REWE was proudly announced as a NEW eVoucher partner at the elite seminar in Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, in early June 2019 with eulogies posted on Facebook. Complete rubbish!!!

I enquired at the REWE Group headquarters in Cologne. The Communications and Press Relations Department of both REWE and PENNY informed me in writing as follows (e-mail on file):

“Dear Mr. Ecker.

Many thanks for your inquiry, which we would like to respond to as follows: REWE does not maintain any commercial relationship let alone any partnership with the above company. In this respect, we expressly reserve the option to take further steps against the company in question.   

Yours sincerely,

REWE Markt GmbH, National Administration Department

Head of Corporate Communications”

A PENNY press officer summed it up very succinctly:

“Dear Mr. Ecker,

I’ll keep this brief: PENNY has terminated the sales partner-based business model with Lyoness.

Yours sincerely,

PENNY Press Officer”

PENNY has already been removed from the Cashback World site; how long REWE will be listed there remains to be seen.

One may well speculate as to how various affiliate partners are earning their keep in top management at Lyoness. These continuous denials from reputable companies are a clear indication of how low and insignificant the shopping turnover at Lyoness (Cashback World) must be. If this shopping turnover were in fact as massive as they claim at Cashback World, large high-turnover companies and corporations would definitely be willing to let Lyoness (Cashback World) list them. Entrie