US Authorities Hit Yukom Owners, 13 Staff with Fraud Charges

The defendants are two business partners allegedly had ownership interests in Yukom, Yakov Cohen, and Yosef Herzog

Three months after former CEO of Israel-based Yukom Communications Lee Elbaz was found guilty for her participation in a $140 million binary options scheme, her former bosses and colleagues have been hit with fraud charges in the United States.

Two former owners of the binary options websites BigOption and BinaryBook, together with 13 other employees, were charged in a Maryland court with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud.

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The defendants in the complaint are two business partners who allegedly had ownership interests in Yukom Communications and other related entities, Yakov Cohen, 27 and Yosef Herzog, 54. In addition, the complaint also names Ori Maymon, 33; Nissim Alfasi, 33; Elad Bigelman, 37; Runal Jeebun, 29; Sabrina Elofer, 28; Afik Tori, 27; Anog Maarek, 28; Oron Montgomery, 38; David Barzilay, 41; Gilad Mazugi, 36; Hadas Ben Haim, 34; Yousef Bishara, 32; and Nir Erez, 29.

The US authorities said that Anog Maarek, who has dual Israeli-French citizenship, appeared Friday before a Maryland judge. Maarek and a 44-year-old US citizen were arrested in September by Hungarian Police, as Finance Magnates exclusively reported.

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The latest complaint against Yukom’s execs parallels and rests on the same findings as the criminal charges against their former executive director Lee Elbaz, who was criminally convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud back in August.

The FBI found in its investigations that Yukom brands have betrayed investors to the tune of $140 million between 2016 and 2017, while only $20 million of this amount was paid back to defrauded victims during this period.

According to the court papers, Yukom representatives operated three binary options brands, BigOption, BinaryBook, and BinaryOnline, which were used to misled investors by falsely claiming to represent the interests of investors while, in fact, their company profited when investors lost money.

 According to the complaint, the co-conspirators also misrepresented the expected return on binaries trades, using the terms of “bonuses,” “risk free trades,” and “insured trades” to assure clients that their investments are safe. They also provided investors with false names and qualifications, and falsely claimed to be working from London.

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