In the US, the Yukom scheme is being prosecuted in court both by US prosecutors and by the regulator U.S Commodity and Futures Exchange Commission (CFTC). The former CEO of the Israeli binary options scheme Yukom, the Israeli Lee Elbaz, was sentenced in December 2019 for binary options fraud to 22 years in prison and a $28 million restitution payment. The two beneficial owners of the scheme, Yossi Herzog and Kobi Cohen, were also indicted by U.S. attorneys but remain at large. Their current whereabouts are unknown to FinTelegram. Currently, the role of the alleged Israeli co-conspirator Shalom Peretz and the scheme’s Bulgarian activities are being questioned by the authorities.
The role of Shalom Peretz
In its lawsuit, the CFTC called out a fourth main perpetrator of the Yukom scheme in addition to Herzog, Cohen, and Elbaz – the Israeli Shalom Peretz. He is also indicted by the US prosecutors but is currently not in the United States. He is said to be in Israel. According to the CFTC, Peretz is believed to have played an important role in the Yukom Scheme.
According to the CFTC complaint, Shalom Peretz currently resides in Israel. He had an ownership interest in some of the Yukom entities such as Wirestech, WSB Investment, and Zolarex. Peretz has been the director, officer, and beneficial owner of Zolarex. He has been the director and the nominee owner of Wirestech. Further, Peretz has been the director, officer, shareholder, and/or nominee owner of certain other entities that have received, held, or transferred funds on behalf of the Yukom scheme.
BinaryOnline and Finarix – the Bulgarian Yukom branch
The US prosecutors have focused their indictment on the two binary options broker scams BinaryBook and BigOption. The CFTC, on the other hand, states in its complaint that at least BinaryOnline also belongs to the Yukom scheme and has therefore also made this part of its complaint.
Victims of BinaryOnline have filed additional claims with CFTC and the Bulgarian regulator purporting that CFD trading site Finarix (www.finarex.com) is also operated by Zolarex Ltd and hence part of the Yukom scheme. In the Finarix terms and conditions, Zolarex Ltd is given as owner and operator.
BinaryOnline was still online until a few days ago and is currently in maintenance mode according to the information on the website. Also online is the illegal brokerage site Finarix, which is also supposed to have belonged to the Yukom scheme. BinaryOnline and Finarix were officially operated by Bulgarian companies
- Zola EOOD (Zola Ltd);
- Zolarex Ltd EOOD (Zolarex Ltd Ltd);
- Global Prime Management EOOD (a non-registered company)
The Bulgarian companies behind BinaryOnline and Finarix are controlled by Zolarex Ltd, registered in the Marshall Islands. In May 2018, the UK FCA issued an investor warning against Zola Ltd and Zolarex Ltd and their BinaryOnline. In the Bulgarian commercial register, one finds notorious perpetrators with Zola EOOD – Georgi Valentinov Rangelov or Metodi Andreev Aleksiev.
In addition to the companies mentioned above, Tech SB EOOD was also active in Bulgaria together with WSB Investment Ltd, registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. From there the trading style BinaryBook was operated. Unfortunately, the Bulgarian authorities have taken a very friendly approach towards scammers over the last couple of years. Hence, it comes as no surprise that Finarix is still online.
Legal Opinion Tech SB and WSB Investments
Legal Opinion WSB Investments