Expo Guide directory scam debt collectors — ICAA Management Ltd and Conflict Solutions Management Ltd — are based in Cyprus and are used to intimidate victims of this directory scam into paying. This page will give you an idea of the people behind this unethical organisation.
WHO IS BEHIND THE ICAA MANAGEMENT DEBT COLLECTORS?
ICAA Management Ltd. is the debt collecting organisation, based in Cyprus, that tries to intimidate victims of the Expo Guide business directory scam into paying. (It is also possible that ICAA are actually the ones in the driving seat of the Expo Guide scam, using a Mexican address to avoid direct legal challenge.) It has links to another Cypriot company C.L. Business Conflicts Solutions Management Ltd. which also collects money for the Expo Guide directory scam.
ICAA Management Ltd. refer to themselves on their websites and most of the "legal" intimidation letters and emails as ICAA Ltd., but ICAA Ltd. is not a legal company name — as any search of the Cyprus companies register will atest to. Companies can shorten their names or have different trading names, but they cannot then stick a "Ltd" at the end of the modified name. Using a false "Ltd." name is illegal in most countries. So all the "legal" letters and emails sent out using the name "ICAA Ltd." are using a false company name (probably for obscuration), which immediately invalidates them. (No doubt, now we have highlighted this fact, ICAA Management Ltd. will start using their proper legal name or use a trading name without the "Ltd".)
The same applies to their sister company C.L. Business Conflict Solutions Ltd. which trades under the false name Conflict Solutions Management Ltd.
You can read our full review of the Expo Guide scam here.
These are the contact details for this organisation based in Cyprus:
ICAA Management Ltd.
187a Leontiou Street
4th Floor (Apt. 401), Tsacon Court
PO Box 53397
Company Registration number: C216888
VAT No: CY 10216888E
(The VAT number is registered to ICAA Management Ltd. and is valid.)
For more information on this company, such as appointments and accounts etc., visit: www.infocredit.cyta.com.cy/Default.aspx?q=ICAA&C=36 (If you purchase the company details, please send us a copy so we can post them online.)
In 2014 we were emailed, by a German-speaker probably using a false name, a list of most of ICAA's employees (some/many of these names may be false) along with an angry description of some of the scammers involved as well as German legal technicalities, advising readers to report the fraud. None of us here speak German and so we just posted the letter with a Bing translation button, which rendered an English equivalent that was not very comprehensible. (We did aim to translate it properly in the future.) But it did provide more of an insiders view of these scam organisation by giving a list of the names of people claimed to be working for the company.
Here is the list of names that this person emailed to us:
- email@example.com (Laszlo Peter — the head manager).
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Christina Panayiotou — ex-barmaid, the only one of two German employees).
- email@example.com (Christina Charalambous — the second German colleague who was a Hamburger housewife).
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Mirate Aldo)
- email@example.com (Maia Ligurian)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michel Garrocq)
- email@example.com (Marjolaine Delhaye)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Ashley Morgan)
- email@example.com (Angie Gordon)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adrian Zara)
- email@example.com (an English woman who goes under the names, "Ann Simo" and "Helen Simson")
- firstname.lastname@example.org (probably Chris Michael)
- email@example.com (probably Ester Abatelli)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (probably Pascal Lefevre)
- email@example.com (probably Sandro Penati)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (probably Candice Picard)
- email@example.com (the secretary)
Missing from this list is "Louis Loizou" who registered four other ICAA-related domains (icaaltd.com, icaa-assessment.com, icaamanagement.com, icaa-agency.com), and "Louis Michael" who is the contact person listed for their range of IP addresses which are 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52, which is probably the IPs of their voip telephone system, run by Cytanet (www.cytanet.com.cy) through which ICAA phone their victims.
The person who contacted us believed that the group are run by a Russian Cypriot Hungarian gang, but we have no proof of this. He or she also stated that ICAA is employs around 20 people, with changing names and identities. They work for approximately 1,300 euros a month plus bonuses. Our informant also claims that the head of this organisation is a "Laszlo Peter" who is a Hungarian, and that the business titles used are bogus. (The claim was also made that the former head was a Peter Lansky.)
The purpose of this organisation is to collect money from victims of the Expo Guide directory scam that has been blighting Europe and the rest of the world for a number of years now. This scam is run by a company that safely hides out of legal range in Mexico, but to collect their ill-gotten gains in Europe at least, they use a Cyprus-based debt collecting agency called ICAA Management Ltd.
Why Cyprus? We are not sure, but we think it might be because there is a favourable legal environment in this country that obviously turns a blind eye to scam debt collection. They would be out of business by now if they were in most other European countries. After all, take the case of a similar directory scam organisation called Construct Data. This company ran an almost identical directory scam in Austria before being sued by the Austrian authorities for deceptive business practices. So they just moved their operation to the Slovak Republic and continued scamming. What does the Slovak Republic have that Austria does not? Obviously a favourable business environment that turns a blind eye to their fraudulent activity! In other words, the state leaves them alone to do their scamming.
If such an organisation ran out of Germany or the UK, for example, you can be absolutely assured that it would be tracked down and exposed by the press and would be forced to close down. The same goes for the United States where, indeed, Construct Data who ran the Fair Guide online business directory recently lost a court case and was fined $10m for deception, and their business was shut down. (No doubt it will resurrect with a new name somewhere else.) So Cyprus is obviously offering some sort of safe haven for Expo Guide debt collecting, just as the Slovak Republic offered a safe haven for the Construct Data directory scam when they were kicked out of Austria.
Does a scam suddenly cease to be a scam when it is moved to a country that (at least temporarily) allows it to legally operate within its shores? Of course not! ICAA Management Ltd. might well not be breaking any Cypriot Laws (except using a false Ltd. company name), but that does NOT imply that they are not involved with a directory scam.
What is most interesting about ICAA Management Ltd. is that, despite claiming to be legitimate debt collectors who churn out screeds of legal threats of court action, as of this date we are not aware of this organisation taking to court over non-payment of the scammed debts, even in their home country of Cyprus. This means that they are well aware that the contract with Expo Guide, which is basically entered into by deception, is not enforceable and would not hold up in any court of law, and court action would serve only to highlight their involvement in this scam, jeopardising their own future. And so this debt collecting organisation has to be all bark and no bite, because demanding money from victims of an obvious and recognized directory scam gives them no legal legitimacy. ICAA's tactic is therefore to bark as loud as they can: terrorising victims of this scam into paying up with their court threats and threats of legal costs. (We have faced their legal threats ourselves, so we know the sorts of games they play.)
The list of names given above was part of a long diatribe about the company, written in German and kindly sent to us by someone using an anonymous email address. We have subsequently found out that this person was probably a disgruntled ex-employee as, a short time after posting the communication, we received the following letter from a "lawyer" accusing the author of defamation and us for publishing defamatory statements. The name and details of this lawyer are:
Agathokleous - Neophytou & Co LLC
D. Nicolaou Pentadromos Center, Block A, 6th Floor, Office 609
Here is the letter Agathokleous - Neophytou & Co LLC sent to us on the 14th November 2014:
An accusation of defamation against the author of an exposé of a company perpetrating a major directory scam!! You couldn't make it up!
First of all, it is very odd that Eraklis Agathokleous refers to his client as International Credit Assessment Agent and does not use their legal name which is ICAA Management Ltd. If you are a lawyer seriously defending the reputation of a company, you would surely use their proper legal name? What is going on here? Who is Agathokleous - Neophytou & Co LLC actually representing? This looks like a scam on top of a scam.
This strong response also implied that the German-speaking informant had obviously touched a nerve, which means that some of the names and other information that he or she gave must have some accuracy. This is a good confirmation for us as the Bing translation of the original German posting, as we have mentioned, was largely incomprehensible (probably in translation) and therefore had little impact or credibility for most of our readers. It also means that we now have a "legal" organisation for Europeans who have fallen for the Expo Guide / ICAA scam to focus on.
This letter from Agathokleous - Neophytou & Co LLC gave us the impetus to rewrite and edit the original posted diatribe on this page, making is MUCH more comprehensive and visible in the search engines — good job Eraklis Agathokleous! This hopefully will now have much more impact to stop the illegal activities of ICAA or whoever is behind this organisation because it presents victims of this directory scam with information to convince them of the illegitimacy of the debt collection.
The claim was that the workforce at ICAA are "completely disenfranchised, oppressed and even totally frightened" is actually reasonable considering the business climate of low wages and soul-destroying work of scamming people. But as for the accusation that ICAA Management Ltd. is perpetrating fraud, by definition this cannot be defamatory as it is not false. ICAA Management Ltd. are undeniably perpetrating a massive directory scam, and then using intimidation to get paid. This is fact.
We did write back in the hope that Agathokleous - Neophytou & Co LLC will be able to persuade their client to stop their involvement in this scam, a scam that is terrorising many thousands of Europeans every years. (The original poster estimated that there are 18,000 victims of this fraud every year!) But they were not interested in the scam aspect of their client and continued their false denials and ridiculous assertions that fly in the face of facts. (Lawyers will usually represent anyone who pays them!)
As we mentioned above, Austria bothered to take action to prosecute an identical business directory scam, Construct Data, which put an end to directory scams in Austria. But all the scammers did was to move to Slovak Republic, operating their scam there perfectly legally. This constant evasion of the law needs to be stopped by pan-European action. Here is a speech that MEP Arlene McCarthy gave to the European Parliament, urging them to stop these business directory scams. This was back in 2008, and yet today, these directory scams continue to operate in EU countries perfectly legally.
Brussels is aware of this problem and is slowly moving in the right direction. But it may be a few years before they are completely outlawed. Here is a press release issued in November 2012 on what the European Commission's strategy is:
Another country that takes these business directory scams seriously is the United States. There, Construct Data recently lost a big court case where they were fined nearly $10 million dollars to restitute the US victims of this scam. Even their scam directory website — www.fairguide.com — has been closed down. You can see more about it at www.linkedin.com/groups/Stop-Expo-Guide-3714692 and can read the full ruling here which identifies the perpetrators: www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/140307fairguidejgdmt.pdf
ICAA Management Ltd. might well be breaking no laws in Cyprus (although it probably isn't legal to use a false "Ltd." company name), but this does not make the scam they are operating less of a scam. Many scams are perfectly legally run from certain countries around the world, and are usually only stopped when the governments of those countries get embarrassed by the bad publicity it is creating for the nation.
ICAA are undeniably participating in a business directory scam, and this makes them an entirely legimate target for any media organisation that is exposing such scams. Any attempt by Agathokleous - Neophytou & Co LLC to remove this webpage (or any similar page on other warning websites), by trying to insist that there is no scam operating and that any implication of involvement in a scam is defamation, is an abuse of the legal system and an affront to the documented facts. And of course it would run contrary to our right to free speach and expression. Again, this is just more ICAA intimidation. There is so much money at stake here that they will try anything to make the scam appear legitimate.
How long will it be before Brussels takes the same sort of action that the US did with Fair Guide to stop ICAA Management Ltd. participating in the Expo Guide directory scam right from one of its member states?
Directory Scams are now banned in the United States:
We believe that as awareness of this scam grows, aided by sites like mu:kaumedia and this one, this is very likely to happen in Europe, and Cyprus will no longer be able to offer legal protection for this directory scam.
We leave the last word to a UK MEP who has posted a video on this type of business directory scam. You will see from this video that Brussels takes this fraud very seriously and has been trying to stamp it out:
If you feel strongly about this matter and/or have been scammed by Expo Guide or threatened by ICAA Management Ltd. (or their sister company C.L. Business Conflicts Solutions Management Ltd.), please consider taking some of the listed actions below. If enough people do this, we have a good chance to stop ICAA Management Ltd. from participating in this scam.
To visit our main page on the Expo Guide scam, please click here.