UTrade Solicited $27m Using Fraudulent Means, Israeli Watchdog Says

The Israel Securities Authority recommends criminal charges against UTrade CEO Aviv Talmor for scamming clients.

An important precedent was set today in the Israeli market where for the first time the financial regulator recommended criminal charges against a former forex broker.

Prof. Shmuel Hauser, Chairman of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), has instructed to advance the investigation case in the matter of UTrade and Aviv Talmor, its owner and CEO, to the Tel Aviv District Attorney (Taxation and Economics), for considering filing charges against those involved.

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The ISA says that the investigation found sufficient evidence of criminal offences, including fraud, false documentation, money laundering, managing investment portfolios without a license, obstructions of an investigation and more.

The watchdog writes today this is a serious and complex case, where multiple suspects acted in great sophistication while camouflaging the vast fraudulent activity which lasted several years and severely hurt hundreds of clients, in Israel and around the world. From 2012 to 2015 UTrade solicited $27 million from 604 Israeli clients. This was done by misleading investors with false presentations, forgeries as well as an aggressive and manipulative marketing campaign, the ISA found.

Additionally, according to the investigation’s findings Aviv Talmor used the tens of millions of shekels of client funds for his personal aims, including his other businesses, while employed frontmen.

Furthermore, the ISA says that Aviv Talmor together with managers and employees of the company acted deliberately with the aim of obstructing the investigation and hide critical evidence against them after the open investigations started.

The Tel Aviv DA now has the authority to decide the next step in the case, but it is more than expected that the DA will accept the ISA recommendations as is the common practice.

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