Binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz challenges 22-year prison sentence

Maria Nikolova

The former CEO of Israel-based Yukom Communications appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from the judgment and sentence entered December 19, 2019.

Shortly after the Maryland District Court issued a 22-year prison sentence to binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz, she has challenged the judgment.

On December 30, 2019, Elbaz filed a notice of appeal with the Court. The notice says:

“Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(b), Defendant Lee Elbaz hereby appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from the judgment and sentence entered December 19, 2019”.

There is no further information about the appeal at this point.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Elbaz, the former CEO of Yukom Communications, and her co-conspirators fraudulently sold and marketed binary options to investors located in the United States and throughout the world through two websites, known as BinaryBook and BigOption. The evidence showed that in her role as CEO of Yukom, Elbaz, along with her co-conspirators and subordinates, misled investors using BinaryBook and BigOption by falsely claiming to represent the interests of investors when, in fact, the owners of BinaryBook and BigOption profited when investors lost money; by misrepresenting the suitability of and expected return on investments through BinaryBook and BigOption; by providing investors with false names and qualifications and falsely claiming to be working from London; and by misrepresenting whether and how investors could withdraw funds from their accounts.

Representatives of BinaryBook and BigOption, working under Elbaz’s supervision, misrepresented the terms of so-called “bonuses,” “risk free trades” and “insured trades,” and deceptively used these supposed benefits in a manner that in fact harmed investors, the evidence showed.

Five co-conspirators who worked for Elbaz, including Liora Welles, Shira Uzan, Yair Hadar, Austin Smith, and Lissa Mel, have pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud, and have been sentenced. Welles, Uzan, Hadar, and Smith all cooperated against Elbaz and testified at her trial in July 2019. In addition, an indictment charging an additional 15 of Elbaz’s alleged co-conspirators, including Yossi Herzog, was unsealed earlier this year.

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