How Wiseling set up its Finnish shell company
One thing I’m adamant about is the meaninglessness of basic incorporation.
Typically this manifests as a shell company attached to a fraudulent investment scheme.
Details of how Wiseling set up its shell company in Finland have emerged.
That along is interesting enough, but it’s also a great example of why you should never rely on basic incorporation for due-diligence.
As reported by Seura, who got in contact with the law firm Wiseling, through the Russian law firm GSL Law, approached to set up Wiseling Oy in Finland;
The director of the office, R. Kenneth Wrede, told the Society how the company ended up in Finland through them.
“In the spring of last year, I received an assignment from Moscow from our correspondence office GSL Law and Consulting to establish a company in Finland called Wiseling Oy, whose business would be mainly legal and financial consulting,” says Wrede.
It was a routine task that law firms do routinely.
The information provided to Wrede & Co by GSL Law stipulated Matias Lappo, who doesn’t exist, should be registered as Wiseling Oy’s founder.
As proof, Wrede was given a copy of Lappo’s Finnish identity card and Israeli passport.
Wrede also received an electricity bill from a Finnish apartment, which was used to confirm that Lapo lived in Finland.
“Elias Mattila” (was later) added to (Wiseling’s) board.
Wrede again received a passport copy and an electric bill from another address – albeit on the same street as Lappo.
Finland’s National Board of Patents and Registration rejected the initial application for Wiseling Oy.
The stated reason was because the indentity documents for Lappo and Mattila were not genuine.
This should have set off a red flag but um, apparently it didn’t.
Through GSL Law Wiseling’s owners instructed Wrede to explain that Lappo and Mattila had dual Russian citizenship.
Why isn’t revealed but Wrede didn’t follow through with that plan.
Instead Wrede got around the block by replacing Lappo and Mattila with ‘two native finns as responsible persons and sent Wrede [& Co] pictures of their passports.’
These two Fins did exist and their identity documents were genuine.
Just one problem though; neither of them had any idea Wiseling was using their details to create Wiseling Oy.
Or so they’ve claimed now that Wiseling has collapsed.
In setting up Wiseling Oy, neither Wrede or GSL Law bothered to verify the contact details provided.
It seems being initially supplied with forged identity documents didn’t raise any eyebrows at the law firms either.
In fact Wrede & Co never actually spoke to anyone at Wiseling. All correspondence was via email with GSL Law.
In the aftermath of Wiseling’s collapse, Wrede & Co has reported the matter to police. Finland’s FSCA has also approached the firm looking for answers.
Perhaps Wiseling approaching GSL Law wasn’t a co-incidence. As reported by Seura, GSL Law has come under fire for helping to ‘start new businesses without worry too much about international money laundering regulations’.
Wiseling is of course not an isolated incidence. Any time you see an MLM investment company hiding behind basic incorporation, it’s a safe bet whatever details were provided are bogus.
There are even instances where registration with financial regulators is meaningless.
One example is ASIC in Australia, who have a notorious reputation for allowing anyone to register anything with no oversight.
Although it’s doubtful Finnish authorities will be able to recover anything from the Russian scammers behind Wiseling, their investigation continues.