Lyconet replaces itself as a contractual partner! Marketers lose!

The Lyconet marketers had to accept another change. They were/are requested to revoke their previous participation in the Lyconet Marketing Programme of Lyoness Europe AG and to register with the Lyconet Marketing Programme of Lyconet International AG, based in Vienna.

Sole shareholder of Lyconet International AG is none other than the general counsel Dr. Hubert Reif (law firm Dr. Reif & Partner) from myWorld / Lyoness / Lyconet himself.

The marketer has to agree to a whole range of changes and waivers:

It starts with…

“I irrevocably terminate my previous participation in the Lyconet Marketing Program of Lyoness Europe AG and hereby register for the Lyconet Marketing Program of Lyconet International AG, Orbi Tower, Thomas-Klestil-Platz 13, 1030 Vienna, Austria (hereinafter “Lyconet International AG“).”

Among other things, the member must declare and agree to lose the friendship bonus due to participation in the Lyoness loyalty program. Furthermore, one irrevocably waives the right to a friendship bonus and that a marketing bonus will in future be granted as part of the Lyconet International AG’s participation in the Lyconet Marketing Program as an “incentive”.

… that Lyconet International AG assumes no other liabilities (including contingent liabilities) and no liability whatsoever of the previous contractual partner from the Lyconet marketing program. All claims and/or claims of any kind that do not relate to the expressly accepted claims are therefore to be directed exclusively to the previous contractual partner from the Lyconet marketing program.

How someone can agree to such a takeover remains incomprehensible, especially since any claim acquired up to that point is given up and exchanged for another diffuse “something”.

On 25 February 2020, Lyconet must explain and justify in court that it is not a pyramid scheme!

The fact that Lyoness is a pyramid scheme has been legally determined and judged by courts in Austria and Switzerland and by authorities in Norway.

On 25 February 25, 2020, Lyconet must now explain and prove that it is not a pyramid scheme at the Vienna Commercial Court in proceedings 11 Cg 75 / 16s-54. Lyconet again relies on Ms. Claudia Statthaler, who is to explain the Lyconet system to the court. Ms. Statthaler is the wife of Mario Kapun (head of all structural distributors). Together with Ms. Bettina Rieger, she started as secretary at Lyoness founder Hubert Freidl and worked her way up. She now belongs to the closest circle of friends around Hubert Freidl. In the past, Ms. Statthaler has tried to explain the Lyconet system in court, but to no avail. What else? Like Lyoness, Lyconet is a pyramid scheme. The court will decide.

In addition, courts in Switzerland have already classified Lyconet as a pyramid scheme. Among others by judgment (EV 2016 42) at the Cantonal Court of Zug / Switzerland:

Excerpt from the judgment:

Newcomers to the system usually pay a possibly substantial entry fee, of which at least some is paid to the respective recruiter and those already boarded according to predefined rules (Arpagaus, Basler Commentary, 2013, Art. 3 Para. 1 lit. r UWG N 2 ff.).

Upon entering into the Lyconet Agreement, the member will become an independent Lyconet marketer. The dissemination and use of the loyalty program is promoted by attracting new members and looking after existing members, by attracting new marketers and looking after existing marketers, as well as winning new SME partner companies and looking after existing SME partner companies. In return, the marketer receives remuneration in accordance with the Lyconet Compensation Plan (act. 5/1, preamble, items 1.1 and 1.3). There is therefore a distribution system based on the snowball principle.

Likewise, the ban proceedings in Norway have already established that Lyconet, like Lyoness, is a pyramid scheme.

We eagerly await how Ms. Statthaler tries to explain the Lyconet system. Perhaps the Lyoness lawyer Mag. Zotter will again represent the pyramid scheme in this trial. He has already made a name for himself as the “author of the 61 illegal Lyoness GTC”.

Christmas greetings and news in 2020!

Dear customers,

a busy and turbulent year 2019 is coming to an end. But the year in review couldn’t be better. We have paid over a million dollars to Lyoness victims worldwide. With the numerous lawsuits brought against Mr. Ecker, Lyoness / myWorld / Cashback World was again unsuccessful this year.

We thank you for the trust you have placed in us and for the active cooperation of our customers. Special thanks go to the partners in Australia, Canada, USA, Poland, Estonia, Norway, Italy and England, who provide us with valuable information.

We already have several other projects in preparation for 2020. In cooperation with some consumer associations and an experienced law firm in Germany, among other things, we will now conduct possible model proceedings in German courts. The claims bought up by us will be pursued without the possibility of an “advantageous deal” in favor of Lyoness / myWorld etc. until a final judgment has been reached – as has already been done in Austria, Switzerland, Norway and other countries.

In the USA and Canada, collaborations with various associations and stately organisations are also in preparation or have already been submitted.

We wish all customers, partners and employees a peaceful Christmas and a happy new year.

Your BECM Inc.

Open Letter to the Lyoness failures Thomson & Rowlison!

The two accomplices Jef Rowlison and Chris Thomson have once again revealed their ridiculousness with their statement of 21 November 2019.

If you both had character, a sense of responsibility, and the ability to be a reputable business executive, you would not block all BECM Inc. mail addresses, which resembles an admission of guilt. Or do you want to play hide and seek? You would want to find a solution for the benefit of your customers instead of behaving like stubborn children whose lollipops have been taken away.

For this reason, in the name of and on behalf of BECM Inc., I turn to you two Lyoness clowns with an “Open Letter”.

The assertion made that Craig Wotton was sacked from the position of Managing Director of Lyoness Australia Pt Ltd is also false, Mr Wotton was responsible for the launch of Lyoness in Australia and was not only the first Managing Director but also the first member of the scheme.

Mr Wotton’s launch was extremely successful and resulted in over 100,000 members joining Lyoness in Australia.

When it came to Mr Wotton’s attention that members of the board had met over Lyoness being taken to court in Austria on criminal grounds of “Make Public Offer Without Financial Prospectus” which was in direct connection to advertising campaigns similarly to the proposition being offered to Australian members and that a long list of regulators were investigating Lyoness across Europe Mr. Wotton resigned from the position of Managing Director of Lyoness Australia Pty Ltd. to protect his credibility as he realised that he could no longer trust other members of the board.

That you, Chris Thomson, in your recent position as a delegate of the Swiss Lyoness Europe AG, are writing when it comes to members from Australia, USA, Canada, South Africa and Asia, is already very telling.

One obviously does not dare to write to us from the operational headquarters in Austria, as BECM Inc. would immediately have a plea.

First of all, it is stated that the members are represented by BECM Inc with a written proxy. Before using the services of BECM Inc., the members repeatedly had tried withdrawing their money from the Lyoness Ponzi scheme. The worldwide subsidiaries always react the same way to requests from members. Either they do not respond at all or with a standardized two-page letter in which refunds with reference to countless changed terms and conditions are categorically rejected.

No one at Lyoness is seriously caring about the problems of members. With pithy “slogans of persistence” money is being pressed from the members and whoever refuses to pay, is dropped or his/her member accounts are blocked. This practice is handled equally in Australia and Germany.

The testimonials on the website at http://www.bekm.us/rating/ are all correct, these members were paid by BECM Inc. Chris Thomson and Jef Rowlison do know that, otherwise these gentlemen would have filed a lawsuit. The only thing these two supporters of a Ponzi scheme can do is promulgate some unverified half-knowledge, with the goal of defaming BECM Inc. and my person.

They claim that BECM Inc. would work with fictitious claims. That’s wrong! It would be easy to prove by naming only one person from the testimonials who was not a Lyoness member and did not demand a repayment of the money deposited with Lyoness. You cannot do that, and you know it.

I should have committed a similar fraud in Germany? What is correct is that: I have reported the pyramid scheme Lyoness to the public prosecutor’s office in Cologne, naming hundreds of German Lyoness victims. See also: http://www.bekm.us/public-prosecution-cologne-file-nr-115-js-424-19-starts-again-with-preliminary-proceedings-against-managing-director-of-lyoness -Germany-gmbh-guido van ruth/

You further claim that I was sentenced to pay € 2,917.38 to Lyoness. What is correct is that: With a “legal sleight of hand” Lyoness has obtained a default judgment in an Austrian court. This verdict has been suspended in the meantime under Az. C 1010/18f-29 and Lyoness has to refund me the sum. This sentence is currently being enforced by me against Lyoness in Austria! You should get better informed by the Austrian Lyoness headquarters and their lawyers!

Your constant demands for paid-out members to prove that their money has been disbursed is a sign of your panic. Just to make things clear: to name your Swiss marketer Ede Buser as a reference only proves your incompetence, your incompetence and your desperation.

As Lyoness lawyers themselves will confirm, my action was dismissed solely on the basis of jurisdiction. That Ede Buser was right with his allegations was not established. He should translate the decision! Here, another complaint has already been filed by me. See also: http://www.bekm.us/lyoness-lawsuit-against-ben-ecker-with-partial-judgment-of-the-bg-vienna-from-06-11-2019-dismissed/ )

Currently, it is more like you two prodigies and the spelling artist Ede Buser are so desperate that you are competing to see who is lying best.

BECM Inc. will continue to pay out to Lyoness victims and this is all that counts.

Finally, the letter I wrote to you both on 23 November 2019:

Lyoness lawsuit against Ben Ecker with partial judgment of the BG Vienna from 06.11.2019 dismissed!

On 01 July 2016, our article “Despite warning: Lyoness still advertises with Mastercard” was published. This also went through the press.

Lyoness claimed to have no idea of a warning and presented itself as a victim of a third-party card provider. In fact, the ominous third-party was an employee of Lyoness itself, who founded the “MyCard” in Gibraltar, thus enabling Lyoness to use it for marketing over years.

After this lie of Lyoness was discovered and published by Ben Ecker, he was sued for injunctive relief, damages, etc. and Lyoness published this under “Lyoness sues its critics”. (BG Vienna Az. 11 Cg 75 / 6s-23)

Since then, the trial has been postponed continuously and the proceedings have been protracted. After a good three years, now it came to a partial judgment (Az 11 Cg 75 / 16s-52) in the matter.

In order to make Swiss Lyconet marketer Ede Buser understand it correctly, here the following note: Defendant = Ben Ecker & Applicant = Lyoness Europe AG

In the partial judgment it was decided:

• The claim that the defendant owes the plaintiff, as of now, the statement and / or dissemination of the statement that

• Lyoness is misusing the reputation of its affiliates for the purpose of recruiting customers, and / or

• the payments made by Lyoness to the partner companies come from a criminal offense and / or

• Customers are forced to make further investments with the promise of a residual income through the cashback function

and / or to refrain from making similar statements, is rejected.

The claim, the defendant must revoke the allegations that

• Lyoness misuses the reputation of the partner companies for the purpose of recruiting customers,

• the payments made by Lyoness to the partner companies come from a criminal offense,

• customers are forced to make further investments with the promise of a passive income through the cashback function

• Lyoness is lying

demonstrably within 4 weeks to those partner companies of the plaintiff who have received letters from the defendant which contain such statements, in particular NORDSEE Gesellschaft mbH and UNITO Versand & Dienstleistungen GmbH, the Landesfeuerwehrverband Steiermark, as well as all companies which have been contacted via E-mail dated 25 October 2016 at 13.15 with the subject “request regarding partnership with Lyoness”, in writing by e-mail and registered letter (the word revocation in bold, the names of the parties and their representatives in bold and in spaced letters), is rejected.

Aulicio Mining Inc., partner company of GGMTrading GmbH with connections to Austrian Foreign Ministry?

Aulicio Mining Inc. in the South American country Guyana is mining gold, but the company cannot really be found.

According to the companies’ register, the purpose of GGMTrading GmbH, located in Austria, is the trading in all kinds of goods, management and utilisation of rights, especially of mining rights as well as the holding and administration of shares. At least this company does exist.

The sole holder (100% shareholder) and managing director is Katarina Kollarova who had previously been self-employed in the “health sector”.

The founder of GGMT is said to be Mr. Helmut Kaltenegger who had, among others, tried his hand with “WLM GmbH” (Wellness Lifestyle Management) and “juice of herbs against heart attacks” etc. On 14 March 2017, WLM GmbH was renamed in “Protecforall GmbH” and on 3 May 2019, it was finally wound up due to lack of funds according to § 40 FBG. Just like GGMT is now, WLM GmbH was registered at Naaffgasse 80/2, in Vienna. Earlier, Helmut Kaltenegger was in the headlines with “AH Futura”. Here, clients had to buy an overpriced coffee system (about 4,000.- euro) from the company AH Futura in order to become a sales partner (franchisee). The purchase price was usually debt financed via a bank recommended by AH Futura. In the end, a lot of clients found themselves confronted with payment requests or even court claims lodged by the bank. Some of the clients were not even aware of the fact that they had signed a loan agreement and haven’t even contacted a bank themselves. On 15 September 2018, AH Futura Sales GmbH also was wound up due to lack of funds according to § 40 FBG.

Aulicio Mining Inc.

The current partner company of GGMT GmbH, Aulicio Mining Inc. in Guyana, cannot be transparently be found, just like it was the case with Helmut Kaltenegger’s previous companies. The registered owner of Aulicio Mining Inc. is Ms. Olga Aulicio from Guyana. She is neither related directly or by marriage nor married to Mr. Alexander scheller. And yet now it would be important for the recruited clients (buyers of mining rights) to be provided with transparent and verifiable company information. Although there is a “Certificate of Incorporation” of Aulicio Mining Inc., the company cannot be found in any internationally available company register. After a telephone inquiry at the “Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority“ (DCRA) in Georgetown/Guyana, the registration of Aulicio Mining Inc. has not been confirmed yet. The letter of request we sent to DCRA has been left unanswered so far. It should be in the interest of GGMT that the mining fee that has to be payed to the government of Guyana actually has been payed and this also should be published. This certainly would give respective clients (buyers of mining rights) the feeling of security.

Originally planned ELDO-COIN

According to our information, there was no ELDO-COIN and it also has never been programmed! Stories about the ELDO-COIN and their alleged sale are said to be made up completely. Further investigation will show whether these “stories” came from GGMT or its former partner company. Mining rights were offered until the end of January 2019, then they were discontinued without substitution. The buyers of mining rights voluntarily switched to buying gold and were held harmless.

Supposed connections with the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

GGMT and its sales partners advertise themselves with a supposed connection to the Austrian Foreign Ministry and a director called Alexander Scheller. Meanwhile, we found out that Mr. Alexander Scheller does not have any rights or function within Aullicio Minging Inc. since he I still working for the Austrian Foreign Ministry. He holds the post of a speaker of the Library for International Affairs. Mineralogy and geology have been hobbies of the 62-years-old for a long time.

We also received the hint that several images on the website of GGMT in connection with Aulicio Mining Inc. were photomontages.

But there is definitely no cooperation with the Austrian Foreign Ministry. This was confirmed by the Ministry:

“The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs does not cooperate in principle with companies for commercial purposes. We can exclude such a cooperation with the mentioned company.

Peter Guschelbauer, speaker of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.”

Further investigations will explain in which way Alexander Scheller from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is mentioned on the website of GGMT, is involved in the case.

Swiss Lyoness foundations „Child & Family Foundation” and “Greenfinity Foundation” deleted by Supervisory Authority due to “destitute.” Foundations were “bled out and penniless.”! (Part 1)

On the websites of its two foundations, MyWorld replaced the Swiss foundations with the Austrian associations, whereby the name “Lyoness” vanished. Quietly and discretely, Lyoness/MyWorld actors let the deletion of the Swiss foundations happen and exchanged the Swiss foundations named in the imprint with Austrian associations of the same name. According to our information, MyWorld has never announced the official deletion of the two foundations.

The Federal Office of Justice (BJ), Swiss Federal Commercial Registry Office (EHRA) publishes:

Child & Family Foundation

“The foundation is dissolved according to the Supervisory Authority’s decree of 14 December 2018.The foundation will be deleted.” This decree was issued on 24 December 2018 and published on 9 April 2019.

Greenfinity Foundation

“The foundation is dissolved according to the Supervisory Authority’s decree of 15 January 2019. The foundation will be deleted.” This decree was issued on 15 January and published on 4 July 2019

Large sums of money exported from Switzerland

Parallel to the foundations, Austrian associations of the same name (Child & Family Foundation, founded on 23 January 2004 and Greenfinity Foundation, founded on 29 December 2016) have been established.

It has always been conspicuous that so-called foundation travellers from Switzerland started their trips, e.g. to Tanzania, from Vienna, sometimes bringing with them five-figure sums of money. Have these sums been declared at the departure from Switzerland? We are going dig deeper.

Advertisement continues despite deletion

Although the Child & Family Foundation had already been dissolved by an official decree of 14 December 2018, they kept on advertising. For example, on 14 August 2019 the foundation was promoted with “All-in-one drinks for the Philippines” via the Austrian Press Agency (APA).

In principle, it is laudable when a company is involved in community work and supports those who need help, but Columbian drug lords also used to build schools and churches.

Norway: Lyoness-Shopping network continues to operate despite an official ban!

Norway’s oldest daily newspaper “Adresseavisen” regularly deals with the ban on Lyoness in Norway. The Norwegian authorities are not deceived by Lyoness and its subsidiaries. Good to know. An article from 15 October 2019: (Translated from Norwegian)

Although Lyoness has been forbidden to continue its entire business in Norway, the marketing of the associated shopping networks Myworld and Cashback World continues.


Indications: The Norwegian gambling supervisory authority Lotteritilsynet has received several inquiries in the last few months regarding the activities of the network company Lyoness in Norway. PHOTO: MARIANNE TØNSET

Cashback World and Myworld’s Norwegian websites attract visitors with benefits they will get if they register, and both networks also have their own Facebook pages, which are frequently updated with new offers.

At the same time, Lotteritilsynet, the authority that has given Lyoness the regulatory order to discontinue its entire operations in Norway including advertising and deposits to i. a. Cashback World and Myworld last year, continues to receive clues.

The decision was approved in January this year by the Norwegian Office for Gambling (Lotterinemnda), which found that Lyoness’ business in Norway constitutes an “unlawful, pyramid-shaped revenue system”, whose proceeds mainly derive from recruiting new participants.

Lyoness was also not given the opportunity to remedy the unlawful aspects, but was charged with immediately terminating the activity.

Written confirmation required

In March this year, Lotteritilsynet requested written confirmation that the business was no longer operated. At the same time, they warned Lyoness that they were considering filing with the police against Lyoness, the marketers and other cooperation partners if it continues to violate regulations.

However, the list of indications received by Lotteritilsynet shows that a number of clues have been received during the summer and autumn about Lyoness still being active in Norway. Adresseavisen had no opportunity to see the evidence, as it was about “possible violations of the law” sent by private individuals, both out of respect for the whistle-blowers and those concerning the clues.

Silje Sægrov Amble, senior consultant at Lotteritilsynet, says that from July 1 to October 7, she received about 30 references to Lyoness and additional telephone inquiries and written inquiries.

Amble says that, as a result of the case, she does not want to answer specific questions about Lyoness’ business in Norway and how it works. At the same time, she sent the answer Lotteritilsynet has sent to the people who have asked questions about the status of the case.

There Lotteritilsynet announces among others:

“Lotteritilsynet has recently received many new indications that Lyoness has become active again in Norway and that former participants have been asked to continue working for another company. Out of consideration for the further processing of the case, we cannot give any further information about how we evaluate the relevant information and whether the case is examined by us. “


The end for Lyoness: Silje Sægrov Amble, Senior Advisor to Lotteritilsynet, points out that both Lotteritilsynet and the Office for Gambling found that the ban under the Norwegian Gambling Act relates to the entire business activity of Lyoness in Norway. PHOTO: DAGRUN REIAKVAM / LOTTERITILSYNET

New society behind it

The decisions of Lotteritilsynet and the Gambling Office were directed against the companies Lyoness Norway AS and Lyoness Europe AG, which operated the Cashback World or Lyconet benefit system, which were responsible for marketing the benefit system and attracting new participants.

Meanwhile, a relatively new company – Myworld Nordic AS – is behind the Norwegian websites of Cashback World and Myworld.com. The company, which has been operating since April last year, is controlled by the Austrian Hubert Freidl, who founded Lyoness in 2003, through companies registered in London.

The annual accounts show that in the course of 2018 a revenue of over NOK 15 million was recorded. The financial statements also show that Lyoness Norway AS and Lyoness Europe AG are affiliated companies and that Myworld Nordic has purchased gift cards and coupons from the former company in the amount of NOK 1.8 million.

When Lotteritilsynet was informed about the formation of this company last year, Lotteritilsynet quickly announced that the ban on establishing, operating and participating in pyramid-shaped revenue systems also applies to Myworld Nordic AS.

Change of the company name

Adresseavisen has asked Amble from Lotteritilsynet whether the operation of this website is compatible with the prohibition of Lyoness to continue its entire business in Norway.

She replies that she does not want to comment on concrete issues out of consideration for the current case, but sherefers to the conclusion of the Office of Gambling that Lyoness’ entire business has represented a turnover system and that Cashback World and Lyconet were part of this system.

“The Office concluded that the prohibition referring to paragraph 16 (2) of the Norwegian Gambling Act refers to the whole business activity of Lyoness as an unlawful pyramid-shaped turnover system,” Amble said in an e-mail, adding a new reply:

“Lyoness has changed the company name and structure several times for this reason.”

Lyoness rejected by request

Lyoness Norway AS and Lyoness Europe AG are represented by the law firm Schjødt, which has tried to suspend implementation of the official decision until it has been judicially reviewed.

First, the application for suspension of operation of the order was rejected by the Office and then it was subsequently rejected by the District Court of Oslo.

Lawyer Olav Kolstad from Schjødt has stated in an e-mail that both companies “have of course respected Lotteritilsynet’s decision and have temporarily ceased trading in Norway”. He further writes that the next step is to have the case cleared up by the court.

Kolstad writes that he cannot answer on behalf of the affiliated company Myworld Nordic AS, from which the Norwegian websites are operated now.

Marit Johannessen, Head of Finance at Myworld Nordic AS in Lysaker in Bærum, refers to the company’s office in Graz, Austria, which had not responded by Tuesday morning.

Lyoness tries to limit the damage at the expense of the members!

Currently, myWorld/Lyoness is approaching the injured parties that we announced at the public prosecutor’s office of Cologne. They are offering them, amongst others, a repayment of 50% of the claim amount in conjunction with an agreement that might verge on immorality. Legal practitioners agree that “no one in their right mind should sign such an agreement.”

Some German lawyers believe that they are helping their clients by making “deals” with Lyoness, accepting a repayment of 50% of the claim sum from which they further deduct honoraria and they are still expecting a thank you.

Solely due to our efforts, it came to a reaction of the convicted snowball system Lyoness in Germany. Without our activities all German victims would be trapped in the “legal bubble” and no “settlement payments” would be possible.

Regarding the current criminal investigations of the public prosecutor’s office of Cologne (Az. 115 Js 424/19), Lyoness is trying to limit the damage by giving injured members short shrift at lowest possible costs.

The injured parties are running the risk of being exposed to a claim for damages in the amount of at least 20,000 euros lodged by myWorld/Lyoness.

Among other things, the offered agreement says:

“The person transferring undertakes to hold the contents of this agreement in strict confidence, whereby this obligation of secrecy is valid without a time limit. The person transferring further undertakes to pay compensation in the case of an infringement of these contractual provisions. The amount of the compensation payment – regardless of the damages actually incurred – is set to a contractual penalty of 20,000 euros (in words: twenty thousand euros), whereby the transferee expressly reserves the right to further claim for damages above this amount. The person transferring expressly accepts the appropriateness of this contractual penalty.”

Swiss newspaper article with interesting and well-founded justification concerning a fresh judgement!

It is not the judgement itself that the article focuses on, but the findings and all the concluded proceedings against Lyoness and its successor companies that are increasingly being mentioned in the international media.

Lyoness has always reinvented itself, whether by changing the company names or through numerous company mergers. Also, at renaming its financial products, Lyoness was not lacking creativity.

Lyconet Marketers present the snowball system Lyoness to unsuspecting prospective customers as a presumed transparent and plausible system, but as soon as they invest in it – may it be as a “sponsor” or under another melodious name – there is only one winner left.

The most accurate statement concerning the snowball system Lyoness is noted in the judgement of 4 June 2019: “The final economical effect is always that the lion’s share of the money that was paid in remains with Lyoness and can be posted as income.”

It is no surprise that also in this case, Lyoness brought the case to the Court of Third Instance. So far, they have not won a case. They are playing for time but at the latest when Lyoness/Lyconet is being asked to prove that it is not a snowball system the Lyoness crisis management has to pass. It is a snowball system and has already been judged as such.

Hereinafter the Swiss newspaper article:

  • https://www.tagblatt.ch/ostschweiz/werdenberg/lyoness-geld-zuruckzahlen-ld.1157494

(Translation of the press article)

Lyoness based in Buchs has to pay back 13,200 Francs

The County Court of Werdenberg-Sarganserland supports a plaintiff at first instance.

The two holding companies Lyoness Europe AG and Lyoness International AG based in Bahnhofstraße 22, Buchs have internationally been in the headlines for years. They are the holding companies for numerous national companies of the Lyoness group – according to themselves the world’s largest shopping community and active in 47 countries.

Hunting for discounts for purchases at partner companies

For the first time the County Court of Werdenberg-Sarganserland supported a complaint against the subsidiary company Lyoness Suisse GmbH, also based in Buchs. According to the judgement, Lyoness Suisse GmbH has to refund the “vouchers for future purchases” that an owner of a solar technology company had bought for 13,200 Francs. As well as the Canton Court of Zug on 28 February 2017 already did, the County Court concluded that Lyoness is operating an illegal snowball system.

For your understanding: For purchases from partner companies, discounts are credited to the Lyoness customers’ accounts – similar to the Coop Card or the Cumulus Card. Whoever further recruits new customers will also receive discounts for their purchases as well as for purchases of customers that are further recruited by them and so on.

System is not transparent

But not very much can be earned since there is a lack of large partner companies that accept the discount card. Therefore, it is tempting to by “partnerships” or “packages” in order to reach a higher level of the remuneration pyramid. The minimum investment lies at around 3,000 Francs and is open ended. Even for mathematical experts the remuneration system is not transparent, and the promised high earnings cannot be realised. Therefore, the business model was and still is a subject of many legal proceedings in several countries, as the W&O already reported multiple times.

“The money that is paid in stays with the company”

The decision of the County Court of Werdenberg-Sarganserland is one of numerous judgements against the two holding companies Lyoness Europe AG and Lyoness International AG that have been pronounced in the last years. Because by now, the business model has been classified as a snowball system in Austria, Italy, Norway and Switzerland with legally binding judgements. This year in Italy, Lyoness was sentenced to pay a charge of 3.2 million Euro. These decisions now make it possible for many injured parties to claim back their payments. In numerous cases in Austria and Switzerland, Lyoness has been sentenced to refund these purchasing sums, advance payments or “vouchers for future purchases” (Lyoness is known for inventing new names for always the same product). And further complaints are being proceeded. Nor does it change anything that the “discount dealer” has changed the name of the discount card to Cashback Lyconet and later on to Cashback MyWorld.

There are several individual justifications of the County Court of Werdenberg-Sarganserland that are very revealing. With the decision of 4 June 2019, it states: “The final economical effect is always that the lion’s share of the money that was paid in remains with Lyoness and can be posted as income”. It was typical for these financial products that they are “neither completely nor partly paid back in cash”. The mVouchers, so the current name of the “vouchers for future purchases” must not be sold but have to be given away and only to the customers of a Lyconet Marketer.

Additionally, in the case of a determination of the participation in the “Cashback World Programme” (this is another new name for the discount card system), mVouchers become invalid without any compensation, the Viennese Ben Ecker notes. The journalist has specialised in opaque business models. Amongst others, he has been critically monitoring the machinations of the Lyoness empire for years and has been spreading his findings on the internet. In the meanwhile, Lyoness/MyWorld had more and more transferred its recruiting activities to social media like Instagram. Thereby they were focusing on young adults of which some get hopelessly in debt in order to “buy in”, Ben Ecker writes on his website www.benecker.com.

Changing places at the top

The business model also includes that the people at the top of the holding companies change places from time to time. According to the Swiss Commercial Gazette, recently the British Cristopher Thomas is the new Chairman of Lyoness Europe AG and its sister company Lyoness International AG. This year, Lyoness moved its non-profit companies Lyoness Child and Family Found and Lyoness Greenfinity Foundation from Buchs to Graz where Lyoness has been having its operative headquarters since its establishment in 2003. Critics consider these foundations and their unclear cash flows a questionable image instrument.