After local authorities banned binary options in 2017, many Israelis were left looking for work.
As we all know, finding a job in a new industry can be tough.
And that’s probably what inspired many ex-binary options workers to conjure up a new way of making money; working as a binary options recovery agent.
Having successfully tricked people into handing over large sums of cash, these people decided to go back for more, charging exorbitant fees so that they could act as ‘legal experts’ working to recover lost funds for victims of binary options scams.
Now the leader of one of these recovery firms has been arrested in the United States.
Austin Smith is alleged to have run Wealth Recovery International. Documents released by the US Justice Department indicate that Smith even made one man, who he had defrauded himself, then pay $125,000 in commission fees for his ‘wealth recovery’ services.
Smith, who was arraigned on Thursday, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
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An American-Israeli, Smith was released to his parents’ custody after posting $300,000 bail.
The charges against him stem from his work in the binary options field. Working with Yukom CEO Lee Elbaz, who is also on trial in the US, Smith admitted to defrauding investors while working for binary options firm Numaris Communications.
He is likely to be joined in court by one of his compatriots, Yair Hadar.
Arrested as he attempted to leave the US in January, Hadar worked for BigOption from 2014 to 2016.
According to the US Justice Department, Hadar used the pseudonym ‘Steven Gold.’
The former binary options employee faces wire fraud charges and will be arraigned on the 21st of March.
Both Smith and Hadar’s cases stem from Elbaz’s trial. Since being arrested in September of 2017, a number of ex-binary options workers, all of them Israeli, have been arrested by US authorities in connection to the ex-Yukom CEO’s case.