The founder of one of the best VPN offers on the market could face up to five years in prison after being named the main suspect in a fraud case in Greece.
Authorities hold TorGuard CEO Ben Van Pelt personally liable after an anonymous user attempted to make online purchases for €2,000 with a stolen credit card.
As a Greek news site Dicastico (Opens in a new tab) The purchases that occurred in December 2018 were reported to have never been completed as the concerned bank immediately realized that something was malfunctioning. However, a police investigation was later opened to find out the reason behind the fraud attempt.
According to Alexis Anagustaki, the attorney who took on Van Pelt’s defense, the accusation is absurd and reveals the way cases are being investigated in Greece. “In other words, instead of arresting the culprit who shot the murder, they blame the gun manufacturer,” he told the Greek newspaper.
Meanwhile, Van Pelt confirmed to TorrentFreak (Opens in a new tab) That transparency about his company’s ownership won’t change – despite all the legal troubles he’s facing now.
“It is very frustrating to be falsely accused of something when there is a complete lack of factual evidence and a general misunderstanding of the technology involved,” he said. “However, TorGuard will continue to operate transparently because trust is the cornerstone of our operations.”
VPN providers are increasingly being targeted in legal cases
As cybercrime continues to rise, VPN services are becoming increasingly popular, along with protecting people’s online privacy and anonymity from online snoopers, these tools can also be misused to carry out illegal activities on the web.
Furthermore, most private VPN service providers have strict no-logs policies on how their users’ data is managed. This means that no information is stored, leaked or shared. In an ongoing legal investigation, this could be problematic because authorities cannot find out exactly who carried out the crime.
Perhaps this is why some governments are trying to force VPN companies to store users’ information, as is evident in the case of India’s new data law.
At the same time, movie companies also want VPN companies to sign hackers. Several providers – including TorGuard – were recently brought to court over hacking allegations, making CEOs and founders of the company legally responsible for what their users do online.
However, whether or not Van Pelt manages to come out unscathed, the Greek fraud case against TorGuard will likely set a precedent for the VPN industry.