EXW Wallet indictments, arrests & criminal trial in Austria
Eight EXW Wallet suspects have been indicted in Austria.
Two have been arrested and remain in custody pending the outcome of a criminal trial. Said trial kicked off on September 27th.
Details of Austria’s investigation into EXW Wallet are sketchy, as is specifics of the criminal trial.
Unfortunately due to local laws, we don’t know exactly who Austrian authorities have charged.
As reported by ORF on August 23rd however;
Two of the eight defendants are in custody, including the 25-year-old company founder and managing director of EXW.
BehindMLM reviewed EXW Wallet (aka Exchange Wallet) in September 2019. As part of our research we cited Christian Kurt Singer as CEO of the company.
While we can’t confirm their arrest, other executives attached to EXW Wallet include Benjamin Herzog, Mario Abraham and Benno Candussi.
EXW Wallet launched in late 2019 and was an MLM crypto Ponzi scheme, run through a mobile app.
EXW Wallet investors invested in EXW tokens on the promise of 0.1% to 0.32% a day.
EXW Wallet collapsed in 2020. Manuel Batista, Benjamin Herzog (right) and Pirmin Troger rebooted the Ponzi scheme as Exchange World on August 26th.
As alleged by Austrian Prosecutors;
The money obtained was never invested in cryptocurrencies, but went directly into the defendants’ pockets.
This is about traveling exclusively with private jets, expensive cars and expensive watches.
The EXW Wallet criminal case is built around the Ponzi scheme defrauding 40,000 investors out of €14 million euros.
On CrunchBase Benjamin Herzog confirms he was “born August 13, 1997”, making him 26. Herzog is also from Klagenfurt, Austria.
Covering the first day of the EXW Wallet criminal trial on September 28th, ORF reported;
For the prosecution, the 26-year-old from Klagenfurt is the brains behind the opaque company construct EXW.
This all but confirms Herzog has been arrested. Of note is after EXW Wallet and Exchange World collapsed, Herzog fled Europe for Dubai.
It’s unclear whether Herzog was arrested in Austria or was extradited there from another country.
What we do know is two of Herzog’s wanted accomplices are still hiding in Dubai.
(Herzog) sought out experienced business partners, two of whom are still being sought by the police.
They are said to be in Dubai and Bali, and a third is in custody in Brazil and is awaiting extradition.
It’s again unclear who the arrested EXW Wallet suspect in Brazil is.
Despite committing securities fraud and running a Ponzi scheme, in his defense Herzog stated;
We were 21, 22 and we thought we had opened the gold mine of the world.
Today I think it’s complete madness, a lot of things could have been done differently.
When asked where stolen EXW Wallet investor funds were, Herzog told the Judge presiding the trial;
He knows nothing about the whereabouts of this money. The rest, around twelve million euros, had been paid out to the customers.
Call me cynical but I think it’s rather obvious EXW Wallet investor funds are sitting in bank accounts in Dubai.
The trial was adjourned on Thursday and will last several months.
Each EXW Wallet suspect is facing a one to ten year prison sentence. ORF estimates a verdict can be expected around February 2024.
An investigation into an additional fourteen suspects tied to EXW Wallet continues.
Update 30th September 2023 – Some interesting tidbits from additional reporting by Kurier.
Herzog was arrested last year after attending a party in “Upper Austria”. Upon being arrested, Herzog purportedly feigned being autistic.
According to prosecutor Czedik-Eysenberg, he acted as an autistic person. But he managed to reset his phone to factory settings in time.
Probably not a good look rushing to delete potentially incriminating evidence when police bust down your door.
Since Wednesday, he and seven other defendants (aged up to 48 years old) have had to answer for serious commercial fraud, money laundering, chain or pyramid games and criminal association.
Only one of the men has a criminal record. Six of them – including two brothers – are natives of Carinthia and two are Tyrolean.
Herzog’s indictment runs 300 pages and prosecutors are hoping to call up 150 witnesses.
Update 4th October 2023 – The arrested suspect in Brazil is EXW Wallet co-founder Pirmin Troger.
Update 23rd November – Just an editorial update on this case; BehindMLM published an article on November 21st, reporting the arrest of Manuel Batista earlier this month.
This report was based on a process of elimination and publicly available data.
Following an extensive email conversation with a reader, we have suspicion to believe it was in fact Benno Candussi that was arrested. Manuel Batista is believed to still be at large in Dubai.
A November 17th article from Kurier claims a suspect was arrested at Vienna International Airport “at the beginning of November”. Apparently Candussi was arrested prior in Bali, Indonesia however.
Given there are now fourteen suspects (and this may increase), this brings up an ongoing problem on BehindMLM’s reporting of this case.
Austrian privacy laws mean none of the suspects are named until convicted. Given the number of suspects and candidates we’d have to eliminate with limited information each time pre-conviction news comes out, I think it’s best I just leave an update here instead of a new article.
This way I can keep track of what’s coming out of Austria, without spending a ton of time trying to suss out who specifically is being reported on (unless it’s blatantly obvious, as was the case with Ben Herzog’s ex-girlfriend’s testimony.).