Batched used to launder millions from The Traders Domain
Following on from Oscar Garcia blaming Frank DiCrisi for Batched’s collapse, in a recent legal filing Garcia claims tens of millions of dollars has been was also laundered.
For reference, the parties in this story are:
- Batched – rebranding of the Uulala Ponzi scheme (late 2021)
- Oscar Garcia – owner and CEO of Uulala and Batched
- Fireblocks – a crypto payment processor used by Batched
- Batched Merchant Services – shell company created by Frank DiCrisi in mid 2022
- The Traders Domain – collapsed Ponzi scheme (non-MLM)
- Ted Fredirick Joseph Safranko – owner of The Traders Domain
- Savvy Wallet – cryptocurrency wallet and payment processor
- Frank DiCrisi – co-owner and COO of Batched, co-owner of Savvy Wallet and The Traders Domain investor
- Gregory “Tuffy” Baum – co-owner of Savvy Wallet and The Traders Domain investor
The lawsuit Garcia’s filing pertains to was recently filed in the Superior Court of California, Orange County.
Plaintiffs are Batched Merchant Services, Savvy Wallet and Gregory Baum. Named defendants are Batched LLC DAO LLC, Oscar Garcia (right) and a bunch of unnamed John and Jane Does.
Garcia’s filing is a declaration in support of opposition against Plaintiffs’ motion requesting a preliminary injunction.
I haven’t seen the original preliminary injunction filing so I can’t tell you explicitly what it’s about.
Garcia’s response filing however details a TRO, which suggests the injunction sought pertains to financial credentials related to Batched.
On January 12, 2023, the Court ordered me to do the following within 24 hours of being served with the “Order to Show Cause Re Preliminary Injunction; and Temporary Restraining Order”:
(1) take all steps necessary to reactivate the Fireblocks platform,
(2) provide Plaintiffs with the Fireblocks credentials (i.e. private keys) for the Fireblocks platform,
(3) provide Plaintiffs with the API code for the mobile app used in conjunction with the Savvy Wallet platform,
(4) provide access to the Fireblocks vault and Master Account, and
(5) take no further actions to deactivate or block the Fireblock platform.
Why DiCrisi and Baum were so desperate to get their hands on Batched’s Fireblocks credentials will become apparent later on.
For now, Garcia claims, as at the time of January 19th, that he complied with the TRO conditions above.
The sought injunction, if approved, would make said conditions permanent.
Early on in his filing, Garcia confirms the reason the Uulala branding was dropped was a result of the SEC suing the company for fraud in 2021.
After years in litigation, we decided as a company to settle with the SEC. I was fined personally but did not have to admit guilt or claim innocence.
The company, Uulala, which Frank owns and manages was also fined.
After the fine, we noticed that several of our banking vendors were aware of the SEC investigation and settlement and decided to drop the services they were rendering to us.
We moved the Uulala program to another card provider named Berkeley Payments. Berkeley’s main bank is Evolve Bank.
Frank and I continued managing the company and we moved all services over to Evolve Bank.
Both Uulala and Batched started accounts with Evolve Bank. Soon, Evolve Bank also cited the SEC settlement as a reason to drop the Uulala card issuing program, but they kept Batched as a client.
In or around March of 2022, Uulala was completely shut down but Batched continued at Berkeley and Evolve Bank.
Frank called me soon after and said that Evolve Bank needed me removed from the company documents for them to continue working with us. I agreed.
Batched continued on until for a few months until July 2022, wherein the SEC revealed it was once again investigating the company (BehindMLM learned of and reported on the SEC’s investigation last month).
In or around July of 2022, we received another letter from the SEC asking for information related to Uulala, Batched, and any other company we controlled or started.
In response to the SEC’s letter, Garcia and DiCrisi (right) created Batched Merchant Services.
This was an attempt at pseudo-compliance; Batched Merchant Services would be the money side of the business, Batched DAO was for MLM.
Garcia alleges that the agreement he reached with DiCrisi regarding Batched Merchant Services, was improperly backdated to 2021 (remembering that Batched Merchant services was only created in 2022).
So, the agreement struck me as odd. In retrospect, the division of Batched into Batched Merchant Services and Batched DAO was likely
another step by Plaintiffs and Frank in the creation and execution of the Ponzi scheme.
That isn’t Batched itself as a Ponzi scheme, but rather The Traders Domain – which we’ll eventually get to.
The Agreement was an instrumentality of Plaintiffs’ fraud, in that it was used to help appease the SEC, make the businesses appear more
legitimate, and further the creation and operation of the Ponzi scheme.
This was one of a series of steps by Plaintiffs and Frank to centralize their power and control in order to effectively run the Ponzi scheme.
The illegality of the contract is central to its purpose, that is, to assist in the perpetuation of a fraud against Plaintiffs’ customers via the Ponzi scheme and the laundering of money.
Amid the ongoing SEC investigation, Batched’s “accounting issues” came to a head in October 2022.
kept telling Frank on text messages and on the phone that we need to resolve the accounting issues (i.e. what we owe and to whom) fast.
I explained to him that I was afraid that several people were going to sue us for all these delays.
And this is when Garcia purportedly learned of The Traders Domain Ponzi scheme.
During these text exchanges in or around October 28, 2022 I learned about “The Traders Domain” program.
Frank told me he had a way to make money and pay off our obligations to sales agents. When I asked how, he explained the program to me.
He claimed that if I place $20,000 into the program I could take out 1% to 2% a day almost immediately.
In my text message I told him that it sounded unsustainable and like a lot of the illegal programs that were shut down before.
He claimed that he was already seeing great results with his family participation. He claimed on text that he controlled $4 million of their money and could make us whole if something went wrong.
I told him I would call him later to talk about it. During the call he explained that his son and he, along with Plaintiff Gregory “Tuffy” Baum and his son, were having great results.
When I asked about who brought “The Traders Domain” in, Frank informed me that Mr. Baum and Plaintiff Savvy Wallet LLC (“Savvy”) brought in the client.
I told him I was not willing to risk involvement in an illegal program. I was worried about my SEC settlement and the SEC current investigation request.
Fast forward to November 2022;
By November, during a review of my emails I found a strange email from Frank to Fireblocks, our crypto wallet provider.
When we started with FireBlocks with Uulala, we paid $5,000 a month to use their services in early 2021, and we continued with the service with Batched by paying over $60,000 for a full year of use.
But on this email, I realized that Frank was trying to get me out of the system.
I emailed all involved and asked when this request was done and by whose authority. Frank responded that it had occurred back in or around November 9th, 2022.
I responded back that this was not our arrangement.
Garcia and DiCrisi purportedly resolved the issue on a subsequent phone call.
After our call, he and I agreed that the ownership will stay in my console.
Things get a bit convoluted here, as communication with Fireblocks saw Garcia learn that DiCrisi had “sold” Batched to himself.
Frank’s next emails to Fireblocks confirmed the phone conversation we had just had and he told them to leave the ownership to me.
He confirmed this twice in emails.
At no time did Frank tell me that he had sold Batched Merchant Services to Savvy in October 2022 as he claimed in his affidavit accompanying the “Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order and OSC Re: Preliminary Injunction.”
These actions alarmed me. I soon shut down his email access and performed an investigation of his activity.
I found that in or around July 2022 Frank requested help to change the ownership status of Batched DAO LLC.
Frank DiCrisi and Tracey Wallace emailed our LLC service provider and asked what she needed to perform the ownership change.
Our LLC provider’s email confirmed that she needed my signature.
The next email I saw clearly shows Frank DiCrisi providing my signature to her on the document she required.
I have no memory of providing this signature, and it clearly is not mine. Someone forged that document. That was alarming.
Garcia eventually confronted DiCrisi with his findings.
After several days, I emailed Frank discussing all that I had found.
On or around November 16th, 2022, I sent Frank an email that told him to stop all activities and “Any mis management or fraudulent convenience of Tech, Vendors, Clients or funds is frankly illegal and a case against you me or both.”
In the email, I outlined my findings about the over $11 million in cryptocurrency that was moved through our system and paid out to the company, “The Traders Domain.”
I told him that the company he was using clearly could not do business in the United States.
The company states that fact on their web site. I told Frank in the email that I had an independent accounting team review conduct a review
of the company and our activities.
The independent accounting team had concerns that this might be a situation where a mule in money laundering was being used.
Our system was the “mule” and Frank DiCrisi was the insider allowing these activities.
I expressed my concerns and told him we must find a way to separate and clear up these issues.
Frank DiCrisi emailed me back, but not with a statement that he sold the company to Savvy in October or with demands for keys for Fireblocks, but rather with a settlement agreement.
DiCrisi offered Garcia “$200,000 in services and six months of help”.
(Frank DiCrisi’s email below can be clicked to enlarge):
Part of the reached settlement was also the turning over of Uulala’s and Batched’s Evolve Bank records.
These were never provided.
He gave excuses that he could not get them. I found an email that clearly shows Frank downloading electronic statements from of our two bank accounts early in 2022.
Clearly, he was lying about that fact, in my opinion.
Between November 2022 and the end of the year, Garcia alleges DiCrisi oversaw tens of millions of dollars from The Traders Domain Ponzi laundered through Batched.
During the Christmas holiday I was informed of several mismanagements of crypto deposits by the team.
I was informed of the approximately $40,000 in Bitcoin was not showing up.
I told Frank that he needed to look through his bad accounting practices to see if he allowed users to take out Bitcoin or swap money for bitcoin in order to reconcile the account.
I asked him for all records. Instead, he asked me to get one of our top programmers that Frank no longer wanted to deal with to investigate.
I did exactly that. But, what came back was a shocking revelation that over $20 million worth of crypto currency went in and out of our system in the past two months.
No fees were charged and when we found out that it was mostly all for the company “The Traders Domain,” I needed to take action and conduct a full audit and legal review of all transactions.
It is here in the filing that Garcia lays out The Traders Domain’s money laundering operations through Batched.
The Traders Domain is clearly a Ponzi scheme. Frank DiCrisi and Tuff Baum have personal money in the Ponzi scheme and are running a flow of money into the scheme.
They have moved over $50 million in crypto currency and US currency through our technology and service providers directly to “The Traders Domain” systems.
The Traders Domain works with, or as a client of, Savvy.
Savvy contracted with Batched technical staff to create a specific system to allow for the flow of US dollars and cryptocurrency into the Traders Domain.
Classic signs of a Ponzi scheme include large, incoming fund transfers that are received on behalf of a foreign client, with little or no explicit reason.
Fund transfer activity is generally unexplained, repetitive, and shows unusual patterns.
Payments or receipts generally also have no apparent links to legitimate contracts, good or services received. All these signs were present here.
In sum, during my investigation I found that the Batched system was changed by Plaintiffs to allow the Traders Domain to conduct business in the United States.
This activity is confirmed with some of the transactions we have uncovered that over $20,841,697.519 in USDT alone was transferred in and out of our Fireblocks service within November and December of 2022.
Garcia claims it was at this point he “shut down” Batched’s Fireblocks account.
I did not shut down the Fireblocks account to disrupt Plaintiffs’ business relationships.
I did it to stop the illegality that had been occurring and to protect Plaintiffs’ clients’ funds that were wrapped up in the Ponzi scheme.
By deactivating the platform, we were able to temporarily stop the unlawful use of Plaintiffs’ clients’ funds in the Ponzi scheme and allow for an audit.
Notwithstanding The Traders Domain’s collapse, the granted TRO gave DiCrisi and Baum access to the blocked Fireblocks account and laundered funds.
On January 3, 2023, I e-mailed Frank and informed him that we needed to conduct a full audit and “turn off all access to systems until the audit and legal are done.”
In order to stop Plaintiff’s illegal conduct and protect Plaintiffs’ clients’ funds, the Court should order the deactivation of the Fireblocks platform.
Gregory Baum’s (and by proxy Frank DiCrisi’s) lawsuit against Oscar Garcia was filed on January 9th, 2023. I believe the cited ex-parte TRO was granted on January 12th.
A hearing on the requested preliminary injunction is scheduled for February 27th.
I don’t have access to the case filings directly but will check back on February 28th for an update.