The US authorities remain active in their pursuit of the Israeli binary options scheme Yukom and their scam brands BinaryBook, BigOption, and BinaryOnline. The beneficial owners, the Israelis Yossi Herzog and Kobi Cohen, are being prosecuted by both the US prosecutors and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). While the former Yukom CEO Lee Elbaz has already been sentenced to a 22-year prison term and $28 restitution payments for investment fraud and is now in US jail, Herzog, Cohen, and their accomplices remain fugitives to this day.
The CFTC has been able to serve five of the nine defendants, FinanceFeed reported. On April 20, 2020, the US Judge Andrea R. Wood signed an order granting the CFTC’s motion for to serve the complaint to some of the Defendants by alternate means. In particular, the CFTC is granted leave to serve the scheme’s ultimate beneficial owners
- Kobi Cohen,
- Yossig Herzog, and
- Shalom Peretz
by alternative service by: (1) sending the Summons and Complaint by ordinary mail to their last known addresses; (2) sending the Summons and Complaint to email addresses that they have used in the past; and (3) publishing notice of the Summons and Complaint in the Times of Israel, with the notice appearing online on the publication’s homepage for a week and continuing to be available in its back pages for at least six months.
In August 2019, the CFTC filed a complaint against the operator Yukom Communications Ltd and its related entities Linkopia Mauritius Ltd., Wirestech Limited, WSB Investment Ltd., Zolarex Ltd., Yossi Cohen, Yossi Herzog, Lee Elbaz, and Shalom Peretz, alleging various violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1–26 and accompanying regulations, 17 C.F.R. §§ 1–190. According to the CFTC, all but one of those defendants are located outside of the United States.
Allegedly, Yossi Herzog is not currently in Israel. CFTC counsel has communicated with representatives of regulators in various jurisdictions to determine Herzog’s current geographic location and identify alternative addresses for service. Despite the Commission’s efforts, Herzog’s whereabouts are currently unknown.