Binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz needs access to mental health services, Counsel says

Maria Nikolova

“Being detained in a foreign country where she has no friends and limited interactions with the outside community has placed an immense strain on Ms. Elbaz’s mental health and well-being”, Defense Counsel says.

Binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz, who has been under house arrest at her aunt’s house in San Francisco since September 2017, wants less restrictive conditions. On Monday, June 25, 2018, the defense counsel addressed the Maryland District Court, asking for a modification of the conditions of release of Elbaz.

To prepare for trial and the motions hearing, defense counsel says he needs to work closely with Ms Elbaz to understand the underlying facts and prepare a defense strategy. According to him, “the defense will need Ms Elbaz’s ongoing assistance in reviewing nearly 1.5 million pages of emails and other documents that the government has produced to date”. The defense counsel believes that, at a minimum, Elbaz should start dedicating at least three days a week to meeting with defense counsel and/or reviewing documents to assist in her defense. Let’s put this request into a context: currently, Lee Elbaz gets to spend about an hour outside of the house.

Furthermore, the defense counsel argues that these meetings and document review sessions should occur at defense counsel’s offices in downtown San Francisco, which is about six miles (or about 40 minutes away by public transportation) from Elbaz’s residence.

The rest of the requests depict the circumstances of Elbaz’s daily life – for instance, the strain on her eyes because of having to read all the documents related to the case against her. Under the protective order, Elbaz is not permitted to have hard copies of documents, and, hence, she may only review electronic documents, which, according to the defense counsel, “takes a toll on her eyes and taxes her mentally”.

Furthermore, Elbaz only has access to a personal laptop and a personal email account, which “she prefers not to use for her document review”, in light of the sensitivity and confidentiality of the materials, and the lack of stability of her internet connection. (Who does not have Internet issues now and then? – Ed.)

More extraordinary is the request for Elbaz to attend these meetings unaccompanied. There is nothing astonishing that Ankush Khardori, counsel for the government, has stated that the government opposes allowing Ms. Elbaz to travel to counsel’s downtown San Francisco office unaccompanied by her aunt.

The defense counsel hints at the mental health status of Elbaz.

“Being detained in a foreign country where she has no friends and limited interactions with the outside community has placed an immense strain on Ms. Elbaz’s mental health and well-being. The Pretrial Services Office informed Ms. Elbaz that they can provide Ms. Elbaz with access to mental health services, but require a court order”.

Therefore, Ms Elbaz should be released pending trial under the “least restrictive” conditions, the defense argues.

Lee Elbaz – the former CEO of Israel-based Yukom Communications, a purported binary options sales and marketing company operating on behalf of BinaryBook and BigOption, faces a prison sentence and a hefty fine if she is found guilty of fraud.

From in or about May 2014 through in or about June 2017, Elbaz was an employee of Yukom and served in various capacities, including as Chief Executive Officer from at least in or about March 2016 through December 2016. The indictment alleges 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 but that, in fact, the owners of BinaryBook and BigOption profited when investors lost money.

In addition, the defendant misrepresented the suitability of and expected return on investments through BinaryBook and BigOption and provided investors with false names and qualifications. Lee Elbaz was also known as Lena Green.

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