The United States authorities continue with their proceedings against a large-scale binary options fraud that has evolved around Israel-based Yukom Communications. The criminal action, however, has not always led to prison sentences, as demonstrated by the latest update provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The DOJ has confirmed that, earlier in August, defendant Nir Erez was sentenced to one day of imprisonment (time served) to be followed by three years of supervised release, the first six months under home detention. In addition, Erez was ordered to pay a special assessment of $100 and restitution in the amount of $528,625.
Nir Erez, also known as “Jack Cohen”, was an employee at Yukom. He worked as retention agent representing BinaryBook and BigOption.
Let’s recall that, on February 13, 2019, a federal grand jury in Maryland returned an indictment charging the following individuals with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud:
- Yakov Cohen
- Yosef Herzog
- Ori Maymon
- Nissim Alfasi
- Elad Bigelman
- Runal Jeebun
- Sabrina Elofer
- Afik Tori
- Anog Maarek
On September 25, 2019, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging an additional six defendants with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud:
- Oron Montgomery
- David Barzilay
- Gilad Mazugi
- Hadas Ben Haim
- Yousef Bishara
- Nir Erez
The superseding indictment alleges that beginning in May 2014, the defendants and their co-conspirators fraudulently marketed and sold binary options through multiple websites, including BinaryBook and BigOption. The indictment alleges that the conspirators worked for Yukom, which was involved in the sale and marketing of binary options.
As alleged in the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators misled investors in BinaryBook and BigOption by inducing investors to deposit funds based on various false statements and material omissions regarding the purported alignment of financial incentives between investors and representatives of BinaryBook and BigOption; the suitability of binary options as investments; the potential return on investment; and the names, qualifications, and physical location of representatives.
The indictment also alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators misrepresented investors’ ability to withdraw funds from accounts and further used deceptive terms including so-called “bonuses,” “risk free trades,” and “insured trades” to mislead investors.