After the (partial) 'success' of Lyoness' civil suits against the founders of Plattform Lyoness, through which it forced Plattform Lyoness to change the name of its domain and remove legal documents from its website, Lyoness seeks to employ the same strategy to fight off other regular critics with the same means.
The Austrian newspaper Kurier reported that Lyoness has started legal proceedings against Eric Breiteneder, attorney at law. As most readers of this Blog know, Breiteneder is the main legal opponent of Lyoness in Austria, is representing about 220 Lyoness victims in their struggle for financial retribution, and has won most court cases for his clients - and has thus succeeded in getting their money back.
In a complaint to the Austrian attorney association and a civil lawsuit filed in Vienna, Lyoness claims that Breiteneder has organised information meetings to instruct Lyoness victims to lie in front of court, by saying that they did not clearly understand the 'position system' when investing in Lyoness and that they were falsely informed that they could redeem their investment at any point. As everyone knows, these claims are factual.
Another part of the same complaint focuses on a meeting Breiteneder had with a client about three months ago. 'Coincidentally', an attentive listener overheard Breiteneder 'instruct his client to lie in court'. The 'attentive listener' is now testifying on Lyoness' behalf. Although a testimony about an event that transpired more than three months ago may not be considered very reliable by the Austrian judges, Lyoness claims to have tape recordings of the incidents. We find it very surprising that a 'coincidental attentive listener' carries around a tape recorder, just in case.
Of course, Lyoness has no case here. It is completely normal that an attorney instructs clients on what to say in court. Moreover, the instructions given by Breiteneder have a solid foundation in quantifiable evidence. That is more than we can say about Lyoness' absurd claims.
Readers should note that the Austrian Consumer Union (VKI) contests 61 clauses of the Lyoness terms and conditions in court for their vagueness, opaqueness and incomprehensibility. Furthermore, the position system is an obvious pyramid scheme.
Breiteneder himself does not take the matter up lightly, even though he considers the complaint and court case to be mere attempts to silence and get rid of a nasty opponent. Breiteneder is at the moment active in more than twenty court cases against Lyoness. This seems a lot like 'revenge'.
"This is strong stuff. It brings a new dimension to the debate if a party starts spying on lawyers in private conversation with clients.[...] If I can not recommend a client, as provides his facts to the court, then the concept of legal advice falls apart."
Lyoness has issued a press release in which Mathias Vorbach, Lyoness' spokesman, explains the 'company's' new strategy:
"Suspecting him of continuously influencing court testimonies, Lyoness Europe AG took legal action against attorney Eric Breiteneder in Vienna this week. Moreover, the facts have been submitted to the attorney association in request of disciplinary action against him. Lyoness has entrusted the Viennese law firm Gheneff, Rami and Sommer to protect its interests.
Lyoness accuses Breiteneder of recruiting plaintiffs among the Lyoness participants that attend the information meetings he organises and persuading these plaintiffs to lie in court in order to provide Breiteneder with the verdict he is after. As evidence to support these complaints, the court has been provided with tape recordings of an example of Breiteneder's attempts to influence a plaintiff in April. In this case, Breiteneder cannot hide behind calling our recording 'spying on a confidential client conversation', as the media are now referring to this evidence - these were publicly advertised and accessible events.
"After two independent injunctions have strengthened the legal position of Lyoness, we now take action against the strategy to produce complaints using - in our opinion - illegal activities", says spokesman Mathias Vorbach. "For a long time, we have suspected that all this false information was deliberately disseminated. Now, it's time to put an end to that and inform the public about it."
So, what should one make of these developments? Are these proceedings and complaints a simple act of panic? Of course, it would not be the first time that Lyoness seems to act out of panic. Earlier, Lyoness flew Werner Kaiser (officially second in command at the headquarters in Switzerland/Austria) to London to calm down worried investors. In Australia, a similar meeting was held. Most recently, Freidl summoned his most faithful believers and extensively 'trained' them for 10 days in Austria.
Another, more probable option is that the Lyoness racketeers are busy setting up their new scam(s) and in the mean time, while transferring the assets to shell corporations owned by various jackstraws, want to prevent being financially drained by losing court cases and repaying its investors. It is also possible Lyoness wants to keep their investors around until the whole charade finally goes down the drain, and they will be offered to redeem their losses through a new, similar racket. In order to pull that off, Lyoness needs to keep up a strong attitude to preserve some of its rapidly tainting reputation.
On a similar note, we are very curious to find out what happened to Dr Peter Hauser, attorney of Bernhard Wagner (former managing director of Lyoness Bulgaria), who provided very intelligent and informed views on the Lyoness racket in the ORF Report episode on Lyoness. The website of his (former?) law firm HHS Law seems down and nearly nothing can be found about Dr Hauser on the internet anymore. If anyone knows anything about this, please contact us through the comment section of this Blog or through Twitter; @antilyoness.