Kenneth Dante Murena, the appointed receiver in the binary options fraud case targeting Michael Shah, seeks to hike his remuneration as the case deviates from a course that was previously approved by the court in earlier applications.
Murena said he assigned substantial time and resources to address the Shah family’s discovery requests. His counsel also issued subpoenas to their accountant and Michael Shah’s counsel and worked with them on objections and production of documents.
For instance, Eric Shah, the brother of the Israeli-American binary options operator, has applied to the court to defend his stake in a house the government seized in 2019. Eric Shah argues that he owns 50 percent in a homestead that was among assets frozen by the court in connection with a binary options fraud.
Furthermore, the receiver expects to perform various tasks necessary to fulfill his duties during the third quarter, which would likely incur fees and costs in excess of the current $75,000 cap.
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Since the inception of the receivership, Murena has frozen more than $9 million and recovered nearly $6 million in funds held in accounts at multiple financial institutions and in an attorney’s trust account.
Murena not only seeks to retrieve additional expenses incurred to date but also prospectively files to hike his projected fees for the next three months. Specifically, he asks the court to increase the limits for a previously-agreed quarterly budget for the second and third quarters of 2020 to $150,000 and $125,000, respectively.
A previous filing stated that the primary defendants, in this case, Michael Shah and his company Zilmil, Inc twisted written communications between Murena and Shah’s counsel about the allocation of the funds frozen by the receiver. As explained in the filing, he never agreed to allow the binary options advertiser to receive credit for $9.3 million in frozen funds after he satisfies obligations towards the CFTC.
Michael Shah was hit with over $22 million penalties for defrauding his American victims through numerous binary options websites, as well as violating the Commodity Exchange Act. Shah, who worked in tandem with call centers in Israel in return for large commissions, sent traffic to binary options sites including LBinary, TraderXP, Trade Rush, Banc de Binary, and OptionRally.
The penalties, in this case, were the largest the US authorities have imposed so far against binary options operators.