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Who is Rui Pinto?

By: Ted Fred Franky, Refuting misinformation, January 15, 2024  5 months ago

The man behind Football Leaks

In the last 12 months Rui Pinto has been prosecuted and found guilty on numerous counts of extorsion and hacking in France and Portugal. He is far from an upstanding member of the community, and more a bitter man, trying to make money out of criminal endeavours. Below is a ptted history of what we know about him:

2013: The Theft

Rui Pinto acquires hacked emails from a server based in the Isle of Man

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2

From The Dark Side of Rui Pinto:

“….among the information available in those emails were the usernames and passwords who allowed anyone who had them to enter the Caledonian Bank’s back office website with administrator privileges – and access to all the bank’s client accounts.

Rui Pinto uses this information to steal money from a bank based in the Cayman Islands (a tax haven) called the Caledonian Bank. In his first raid on 18 September 2013: Someone accessed an account transferred of $47K (~£30K) to his account in Lisbon. No one notices or complains. On 10 October 2013, he transfers, $310k (~£200k), to the same bank account. The second theft was from a pension fund. This time it is noticed and he gets caught.

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA3
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA3

To cut a long story short, he settled out of court, by returning all the money less his lawyers fees about £25-30k.

We do know that as part of the out of court settlement, the victim(s) remain(s) anonymous. Rui Pinto did not receive any punishment at all other than having to return the money he had not already spent. He didn’t even have to return it all, he was able to pay his legal fees out of it! It is quite clear that knowing the identity of the victim(s) was such a strong hold that it got him off scot-free, without a conviction or it costing him a penny. This is a form of blackmail.

2013-2015: Football Leaks – Livejournal

After this Rui Pinto moves to Budapest and starts his Football Leaks website revealing information he has hacked or bought off hackers about player/manager contracts and payments of rival clubs like Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and so on. He is a bitter Porto fan after all.

2015: The Blackmail

More from Dirty John – The Dark Side of Rui Pinto:

On 30 September, Sporting CP filed a criminal complaint for illegal access of their servers. One week later, Doyen followed. That same day, 7 October 2015, Nélio Lucas, Doyen Sports Investments Limited” against someone called Artem Lubozov.

In the emails, “Artem Lubozov” said he was willing to keep the information private, in exchange of a “generous donation.” That donation, Nélio Lucas told the authorities, was between 500,000 and 1,000,000 euros. During that email exchange, “Artem Lubozov” suggested that the negotiations should go forward between lawyers and he mentioned that he was ready to remove part of the Doyen related documents from the Football Leaks website – something that indeed happened.

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2

“It turns out that Artem Lubozov was Rui Pinto, and this is the blackmail he and his lawyer are currently standing trial for in Portugal. The initial hearing started in September 2020,and the case was due to start fully in 13 May 2022, but Rui Pinto’s lawyer has filed for the magistrate to be removed, stalling the case further.

His defence is roughly that he was not trying to blackmail Doyen, but simply to see how much his information might be worth.

He also claims he is football’s whistle blower, but his whistle blowing only started with the Luanda Leaks, after it was clear he would be prosecuted in Portugal for Blackmail, very much after he was caught red handed. So all he was doing was to try to cover his back and help his defense with the Luanda Leaks.

He was found guilty in Septemebr 2023 by a Portuguese court who gave Pinto a four-year suspended sentence after finding him guilty on counts of attempted extortion, illegal access to data and breach of correspondence.

In a second case, against Pinto that still has to be tried, Portuguese prosecutors are accusing him of 377 hacking-related crimes. If found guilty he will go to prison for these offences.

Rui Pinto has received a further 6 month suspended prison sentence for hacking PSG computer systems in France.

Man City Fans Sky and White Traditional Bar Scarf
Man City Fans Sky and White Traditional Bar Scarf

Blackmail

So now we have two separate instances of Blackmail by Rui Pinto. Blackmail is a heinous crime. Victims commit suicide over it either when they are first blackmailed, when the blackmailer comes back for more, or when they are exposed either by the blackmailer or by the police when they prosecute the blackmailer. Suicide affects everyone who knows the victim, family and friends and is devastating for all concerned.

How would Rui Pinto be described by the press if some of the famous people like Jose Mourinho, Christiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi had committed suicide as a result of his attempt to blackmail them?

The very fact Rui Pinto has the balls and is prepared to blackmail numerous people shows how wicked and ruthless this person really is. Would he do anything for money?

2018 Der Spiegel – Football Leaks

Now before I comment on Der Spiegel and Football Leaks, it must be noted that the some of the Football Leaks information is true. After all if you want to add credibility to the false information you are spreading, you would mix it up with informaiton which is true (and actually widely available elsewhere)?

The information about FC Twente, The European Super League and the tax fraud of players and managers (Doyen) has led to these things being punished. However the New York Times also reported on many of these issues using genuine journalism, verifying sources and so on. So just because it is in Football Leaks doesn’t mean it is true or false, it should however be checked and verified with the sources substantiated and so on before being believed.

On 6 November 2018, Der Spiegel start publishing a series of articles under the collective name Manchester City Exposed. They claim to have sifted through milloins of emails provided by Rui Pinto to expose the truth about Manchester City and their breaches of FFP. The cornerstone of this is 6 heavily redacted emails, which Der Spiegel claims are an attempt to hide an investment by the club’s owners as a fake sponsorship deal.

These emails were the only evidence presented by UEFA at CAS to support their allegations against City. Like the New York Times, CAS rejected these emails as evidence, because there was no proof they were: real; where they came from; or how they were acquired.

In City’s defence, they produced the original emails. They demonstrated to the satisfaction of CAS what they related to (a deal that never went through) and when they were sent (before FFP was introduced). They also showed that one of the six emails published by Der Spiegel was two other emails spliced together to indicate fraud.

I doubt City were lying here. After all if they were, and Football Leaks was genuine, they would have the means to prove City were lying. Two years later, neither Der Spiegel or Football Leaks has produced information trying to prove their version of events was true. They haven’t published how the emails were obtained, or any other evidence supporting their authenticity. So it really has to be that City telling the truth.

It also has to be the case that Rui Pinto had deliberately fabricated these emails, with the sole purpose of damaging Manchester City in a purely malicious act. Why would he do that unless someone paid him to do it? After all Rui Pinto has a proven track record of criminality, whether that is theft, extorsion or hacking in each case for the sole purpose of financial gain.