Friday, September 08, 2006


Der Spiegel aricle on the addressbook scams

A recent article in "Der Spiegel" draws attention to the Ingolstadt connection in the economic crime of addressbook fraud. It names Oliver Heller as well as Meinolf Lüdenbach.

In a edition 36/2006 of "Der Spiegel” the German news and current affairs magazine there was a very interesting article about the so-called address book swindle (known in English as directory scam). Sebastian Matthes from "Der Spiegel" based in Hamburg started his investigation after a huge number of forms from a company in Rostock called "MR Branchen und und Telefon Verlagsgesellschaft" landed in the letter boxes of German small businesses and unexpected demands for 1250 Euros followed.

The article quotes a lawyer who is already representing 130 victims of MR Branchen who says that the forms amount to a fraudulent deception (arglistige Tauschung) - a status which renders a contract voidable under German law. A spokesman for the German Database and directory publishers association is quoted as describing the practice as economic crime.

The article traces the managing director of MR Branchen, a Herbert Rossa to Ingolstadt and an earlier online address book firm "Branchenklick", whose activity was temporarily stopped by an injunction issued by the District Court of Hamburg.

The article comments that the form used was also used years before by a certain Oliver Heller also of Ingolstadt, through whom a connection can be traced to Meinolf Lüdenbach in Switzerland and his empire ruled from Barcelona.

The article observes that the operation is so professional, under-cover and well organised that state prosecutors are having difficulty unraveling the details. Criminal investigations are already underway in Rostock against MR Branchen, in Munich against Oliver Heller and in Switzerland against the Lüdenbach firms.

Finally the article comments on the case of Michael Plümpe who set up a website giving details of the people and companies involved in the address book trick. The tricksters not only flooded him with lawsuits but some even wrote to his neighbours accusing Plümpe of child abuse.


Stopecg decided to do some additional investigation into MR Branchen, this turned up a few more facts. The website of MR Branchen, is hosted on IP number is hosted in the same block as a few Ingolstadt related websites already known to readers of Stopecg. The hosting Company, Boreus Rechenzentrum, is hundreds of Kilometres from Ingolstadt on the North coast.

See for example: has address has address has address is a domain owned by Eye-net GmbH of Ingolstadt and which is
Important to the trick form companies as which has address
hosts in the Netherlands a large chunk of the ovag and novachannel link farm
domains, see for example: has address has address

Regular readers of this blog will know that the website has been used to disseminate lies about Stopecg author Jules Woodell and was also chosen by Meinolf Lüdenbach as the location for the announcement of his retirement. They may not know that one of the first people to suffer from insults and invective on Internet Victims was Michael Plümpe; indeed it is possible that the website was established as a plank in the hate campaign he suffered. Yet again we see the central role of Eye-Net GmbH in the scam guide industry.

One could also speculate who has the initials MR and is involved in the business of mailing deceptive contracts

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