“Lyoness Europe AG & Lyoness International AG in Bankruptcy – What’s Behind It?! (PART 1) 

Marketers were quite surprised when Richard Meixner, CEO of Lyoness Italia, announced the bankruptcy of Lyoness Europe AG and Lyoness International AG through a press release on October 24th, 2023. Apparently, various top leaders were also surprised or reacted highly nervously and irrationally.

It is also known that Lyoness has been facing financial difficulties since 2021, with 5,016,197.75 and 941,867.55 million Swiss francs in tax debt, and a law firm from Oslo is collecting 72,647.55 Swiss francs through a collection agency. However, bankruptcy proceedings are still pending, as the Lyoness that filed for bankruptcy has generously provided loans to its subsidiaries, thereby disadvantaging its creditors. A criminal complaint has been filed in this regard. 

A few days ago, Hubert Freidl also sold his penthouse in Graz, as reported by a real estate agency. An investigating prosecutor should now consider this as a risk of obscuring evidence. 

It has also been revealed that an actual IPO by Hubert Freidl has been ruled out. As reported from internal sources, there will be no IPO. Freidl justifies this by claiming that he needs to protect his shareholders from takeovers by large companies like Amazon and Alibaba. Is it humor or delusion? The issued shares have no real value, cannot be sold without consent, and there is no marketplace for them to be traded. They can perhaps be bought from each other (but only with consent). What kind of stock is that? 

Translation Excerpt from 

REQUEST FOR A STATEMENT 

“An investigation has been initiated against HUBERT FREIDL for the suspicion of the crime of systematic aggravated fraud according to §§ 146, 147 para 3, 148, 2nd case of the Austrian Criminal Code (StGB), and the crime of fraudulent krida according to § 156 para 1 and 2 of the Austrian Criminal Code (StGB).” 

The accused is hereby given the opportunity to provide a written statement regarding the allegations within 2 months to ensure due process. In particular, please respond to the numerous court decisions in the case file, which, among other things, state the following: 

  1. The defendant promised the plaintiff a profit or “passive income” in the event of an investment. 
  1. The defendant portrayed the investment in a “cloud” in a way that led the plaintiff to believe they would recover the invested capital after a certain period and receive monthly payments. 
  1. The defendant gave the impression that the invested money would work and multiply for the plaintiff. 
  1. The defendant presented its business model as risk-free. 
  1. The defendant intentionally formulated the written contract terms in a confusing and untransparent manner to obscure the actual content of the contract to the plaintiff. 
  1. The defendant deceived the plaintiff about the nature and extent of the investment made with fraudulent intent. 
  1. No valuable consideration from the defendant is discernible. 

Please also respond to the following findings of the Liezen Regional Court, AZ 2 C 637/20w: 

“The defendant’s system is designed for a continuous influx of capital, with little to no substantial compensation provided to the so-called members or distributors in exchange for their payments. Through incomprehensible terms such as ‘friendship bonus,’ ‘Lyoness loyalty program,’ ‘balance program,’ or ‘career program,’ an attempt is made to create the impression that the business model makes economic sense for prospective members and Lyconet marketers. Based on the agreements and conditions underlying the contracts as a whole, it can be concluded that the shopping community serves only to channel capital from new members or marketers to those at the top of this system without significant compensation. The clauses in the general terms and conditions (AGB), such as those concerning the so-called ‘independent Lyconet marketers,’ only serve to worsen the legal position of the defendant’s contractual partners by falsely portraying them as independent entrepreneurs. The mention of the ‘marketer’ engaging in a commercial activity, like most of the clauses in the present set of clauses, is devoid of substance and ultimately leads to the customer being informed that the payments made by them as a ‘marketer’ will not be refunded by the defendant. 

The same applies to the purchase of ‘discount vouchers,’ the function and content of which remain completely unclear even after a careful study of the terms and conditions.” 

Furthermore, please respond to the following judgment of the Neulengbach Regional Court, AZ 2 C 749/20x: 

“In reality, the defendant’s contracts are structured in a way that makes it almost impossible for individual ‘marketers’ to engage in profitable activities. The use of appealing graphics and examples (see Lyconet Compensation Plan) suggests that significant earnings could be generated.” 

“As a result, it is evident that the plaintiff’s payments could not lead to economically relevant payouts. The acquisition of a discount voucher cannot generate any profits. Attracted customers would need to achieve absurdly high sales at partner companies each month for the marketer to earn a moderately reasonable monthly income. Whether a ‘cloud’ can lead to significant payouts is also highly questionable. 

All these circumstances are supplemented by the fact that to remain eligible, an additional EUR 50 (50 shopping points) must be paid each month. The defendant’s contract is, in reality, designed to encourage marketers to make payments with promises of profits and to recruit additional members so that the defendant can extract substantial profits.” 

Regarding the bankruptcy and its intentions, we will provide a well-founded and documented report in the second part. 

We do not know if Hubert Freidl was a diligent student in school, but he should improve upon the tasks assigned to him by the WKStA (Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office for White-Collar Crime and Corruption). 

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