Editors Note: In the original version of this story, we simply linked to the Forensic News’ story and did not actually physically cover it ourselves. Though after a number of Twitter messages; tweets, and other feedback we decided to investigate the story ourselves on grounds that the reporter at Forensic News may have in some form biasedness against the sex working community.
In the original story, Forensic News reports that they’ve uncovered a trove of documents that they claim shows that Leonid Radvinsky is of interest to banking officials and financial authorities. First and foremost, it’s worth noting that it is unclear how they got the SARs reports because those are not actually commonly released. In fact they are considered to be a serious federal crime if they are supposedly released publicly.
The SARs reports however paint a picture of Leonid Radvinsky that does not quite have the full context it should have. As noted in this particular Vice article, a mention of a SARs report by Wells Fargo (again with very little context) appears to be in part what sparked concerns on social media.
“Based on the inexplicable nature of the outgoing wires, for which the original sources of funding were not known, but appeared likely to be income from the customers’ adult entertainment business, the information found regarding the customers’ business, and the illicit nature of those businesses, which are international and may be operating in areas where underage children and other vulnerable individuals might be forced to provide services, AMLI [Anti-Money Laundering Initiative] has deemed the specified outgoing wire transfer activity suspicious.” – Wells Fargo in the SARs report as seen in Forensic News.
The statement however contains little context although it was widely picked up by media outlets including ours. Evidently, the SARs reports appear to be in part based on active discrimination tactics against those in the sex working community on the grounds of being “high risk.” “High Risk” being a blanket term many payment processors and others have used to in essence vilify the sex working community.
As noted in our previous report, SARs reports do not often indicate that anything was confirmed to have been done wrong. A SARs report is a document used by a bank to protect itself in the event that a customer is actually doing something wrong. It is a requirement on their behalf despite the fact that they often discriminate against certain groups of people when using them.
Radvinsky certainly is a man who has a colorful past dating back to at least 2004. Though none of that is an indicator that he has done anything particularly criminally wrong and that should not be assumed such until when or if such credible evidence actually emerges. It should also be noted that Radvinsky has not always owned Onlyfans, and many of the reports used by Forensic News appear to date prior to his ownership in the online platform.
Though the SARs reports do appear to have indicated that banks began flagging transactions a while back, allot of the reason(s) why appears to be because they just don’t like sex work. A document provided to Daily News America and then shown to us contained a sizeable list of payment processors and related entities that have all but turned against the sex work community because of that “high risk” thing.
In essence, it appears that Forensic News’ vaguely tried to indicate that something was amiss with Onlyfans and Leonid Radvinsky. While that may have been the case the report seemed to have taken a direction that makes it appear biased rather than entirely factual.
We’d like to remind people that at no time are we disregarding those that have lost money to Onlyfans; had their accounts closed, had bad experiences or so on. We’ve heard many of your stories both good and bad and maintain that everyone has a right to tell their story of their experience.