U.S. Prosecutors charges 15 more perpetrators in the $140 mio Yukom binary options fraud scheme

Yukom Indictment Yossi Herzog and Kobi Cohen
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Fifteen individuals, including two former company owners, were charged in a superseding indictment unsealed on Nov 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. They are indicted for their alleged participation in the binary options fraud scheme around Yukom Communications and its brands BinaryBook and BigOption. The fraud scheme defrauded investors in the United States and worldwide by fraudulently marketing approximately $140 million in binary options.

The former CEO of the Israeli company Yukom, the Israeli citizen Lee Elbaz, the former CEO of Yukom was found guilty in August 2019 after a three-week jury trial of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud.  Five additional former employees of Yukom and its affiliated companies have also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The 15 individuals charged by the U.S. prosecutors are

Beneficial owners and masterminds

Manager and lieutenants

Boiler room agents

  • Sabrina Elofer, 28;
  • Afik Tori, 27;
  • Anog Maarek, 28;
  • Oron Montgomery, 38;
  • David Barzilay, 41;
  • Gilad Mazugi, 36;
  • Hadas Ben Haim, 34;
  • Yousef Bishara, 32;
  • Nir Erez, 29.

According to a report by Simona Weinglass of The Times of Israel, all of these individuals are current or former residents of Israel.

Boiler Room agents are held accountable

The really good news is that Boiler Room agents are also accused of the schema. As contributors to small investor fraud, these Boiler Room employees have made a significant contribution. In the Yukom Case these boiler room agents are the former retention manager Sabrina Elofer, Afik Tori, Anog Maarek, Oron Montgomery, David Barzilay, Gilad Mazugi, Hadas Ben Haim, Yousef Bishara, and Nir Erez. In their capacity as retention manager they have been responsible to make sure that binary options victims of BinaryBook and BigOption continued to deposit fresh money. Moreover, they took the respective actions to prevent those victims to withdraw their money.

Precedent for the European Cases

We hope that the investigations in the EU into the binary options and broker scams of Israeli Gal Barak and his accomplices Marina Barak (formerly Marina Andreeva), Uwe Lenhoff, Gery Shalon and Vladislav Smirnov will lead to an indictment that also includes the Boiler Room staff in Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. The strict approach of the U.S. authorities and courts should set a precedent for dealing with fraud using the Binary Options.

The German Uwe Lenhoff has been in custody since the beginning of 2019 and is waiting for the prosecution. An EU arrest warrant has been issued against Gal Barak. He is currently under house arrest in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Austrian authorities demand his extradition.

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