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Yukom Case – Lee Elbaz trial starts today on charges for $150 million binary options fraud

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As scheduled, the Israeli Lee Elbaz, former chief executive of binary options boiler room operator Yukom Communication goes on trial today in the U.S.S charged with defrauding clients of nearly $150m. It is for sure the landmark trial Simona Weinglass of the Times of Israel called it. The trial starts today with the Jury selection. Currently, authorities in several European countries are investigating operators of binary option schemes. The case against Lee Elbaz and her co-conspirators is therefore seen as a precedent for the global judicial review of this fraud industry.

Lee Elbaz is one of 15 defendants charged in the Yukom Case and the first to be tried. Five of them have pleaded guilty to the binary options fraud charges and cooperated with prosecutors. As CEO of Yukom, Lee Elbaz has had the strategic and operational leadership of the Boiler Rooms behind the binary options platforms BinaryBook and BigOption. The U.S. prosecutors accuse her of coordinating fraud against thousands of small investors worth nearly $150 million. She instructed her employees and instructed them to participate in this fraud. In contrast to some of her collaborators such as Lisa Mel, Liora Welles or Shira Uzan, Elbaz did not plead guilty.

A billion-dollar fraud industry

According to the FBI and Simona Weinglass, the fraudulent Israeli binary options industry is estimated to have fleeced victims worldwide out of billions of dollars. In her acclaimed series The Wolves of Tel Aviv, Simona 2016 outlined the full extent of industrial online fraud over binary options. According to their on-site research in Israel, this fraud industry may have employed more than 10,000 people and was the sick center of the Israeli startup miracle. The binary options come from the online gambling sector, which was also dominated by the Israelis.

Yukom shareholder Yossi Herzog

In addition to Lee Elbaz, Yukom’s shareholder, the Israeli broker Yossi Herzog, is also accused. In talks with FinTelegram, Herzog has always denied that he was involved in the alleged illegal activities of Yukom and Elbaz. Should fraudulent activities have been set, then the responsible people would have to be punished, so Herzog. At the time of our conversation, it was not yet known that Herzog was also being charged by the U.S. government.

Co-conspirators and guilty pleads

The U.S. prosecutors name several other co-conspirators, including Yakov “Kobi” Cohen, Ori Maymon (aka “Patrick Accardo”), Elad Bigelman (aka “Michael Goldberg”), Nissim Alfasi (aka “Nick Onasis”), Ronen Roytman (aka “Alexander Goldman”), Liora Welles (aka “Lindsay Cole,” “Lindsay Taylor,” and “Lindsey Wells”), Yair Hadar (aka “Steven Gold”), Shira Uzan (aka “Emily Laski”), and Austin Smith (aka “John Reid”).

  • Lee Elbaz (a/k/a “Lena Green”), the former CEO of the Israel-based company, Yukom Communications, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud, the trial date has been set for July 16, 2019.
  • Austin Smith, (a/k/a “John Ried“) former Vice President of Numaris, a partner of Yukom and founder of Wealth Recovery International pleaded guilty, Sentencing has been scheduled for September 3, 2019.
  • Yair Hadar (a/k/a “Steven Gold”) pleaded guilty on March 21, 2019. Sentencing has been scheduled for August 23, 2019.
  • Lissa Mel (a/k/a “Monica Sanders”) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug 23, 2019.
  • Liora Welles (a/k/a “Lindsay Cole” “Lindsay Wells,” and “Lindsay Taylor”) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug 16, 2019.
  • Shira Uzan (a/k/a “Shira Baror” and “Emily Laski”) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud charged.  Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug 16, 2019. 

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