The US Federal Bureau if Investigation (FBI) appears to be charging head first at the unregulated binary options industry. What’s more, Google has handed over to the FBI confidential emails between binary options technology provider SpotOption and its client, brokerage BinaryBook. The information is contained in court documents related to the arrest of Lee Elbaz, the CEO of Yukom, which was reported on by Finance Magnates last week.
The involvement of the tech giant in the investigation raises a red flag for a number of industry insiders – it may or may not have been involved in accepting client deposits from the US.
US authorities, headed by the FBI, are seemingly committed to a major offensive against the binary options industry after years of client complaints. The resources committed to the investigation by the US government appear to be substantial.
The affidavit provided along with the court case of Lee Elbaz shows the scale of the operations against only two unregulated brands that violated US law. Eighteen clients of BigOption complained of being solicited to deposit close to $143,000.
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According to data collected by the FBI, between the second quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2016 BinaryBook received $98.9 million worth of deposits. There is no information in the document regarding what proportion of those funds had been deposited by US clients.
US authorities have been very successful in tracking down binary options brokers operating in the country. Back in February 2016, the SEC settled for $11 million with Banc De Binary. Earlier this year, the CFTC charged binary options affiliates operating in the US in a case worth $16 million.
Our readers can see below the full details of the FBI agent’s affidavit related to the investigation: