Ex-Yukom employee, accused of binary options fraud, has her sentencing rescheduled again

Maria Nikolova

The sentencing of Shira Uzan, a binary options firm sales representative, gets rescheduled for November 21, 2019.

The criminal proceedings targeting individuals involved in the fraudulent binary options scheme evolving around Israel-based Yukom Communications continue. One of the cases launched by the US authorities targets Shira Uzan, who has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud charged in a criminal information on December 21, 2018.

Uzan was supposed to be sentenced to October 24, 2019, but the sentencing has been rescheduled. As per a notice signed by Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the Maryland District Court, Uzan’s sentencing is rescheduled to November 21, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

Let’s recall that, from January 2015 to September 2016, Uzan worked as a sales representative for BigOption and BinaryBook. It was the purpose of Uzan and representatives of Yukom, BigOption, BinaryBook and other entities, to obtain maximum deposit from investors and to take steps to ensure that investors lost money in their accounts – thereby making money for themselves and their brand in the process. The misrepresentations made by Uzan and the other co-conspirators included, inter alia, false statements regarding investors’ ability to withdraw their funds, as well as “bonuses” and “risk-free trades”.

Uzan testified in the criminal proceedings against Lee Elbaz, the CEO of Yukom Communications. She testified that Lee Elbaz hired her and directed her to participate in a training course when she started working at Yukom. Among other things, Uzan testified that she lied to clients about whether she had experience in financial markets (telling them she had 15 years of experience) and about how Yukom made money (telling clients she was paid commissions on winning trades). Uzan further testified and “after the one week of the training course, she continued to have training by the managers, by the CEO.”

In September, the Department of Justice determined the amount of restitution to be sought from Uzan – $1.8 million.

The sentencing of Uzan has already been postponed, as the defendant has said she is in the process of preparing a sentencing memorandum to support her sentencing requests to the Court. This sentencing memorandum includes the collection of various interviews of individuals, some of whom reside in Israel. Other information is seen to be pertinent and useful at the sentencing hearing is still in the process of being collected.

Other individuals linked to Yukom Communications have already been sentenced.

On August 23, 2019, Lissa Mel (a/k/a “Monica Sanders”) was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day of incarceration, followed by 2 years of supervised release, and was also ordered to pay $288,024 in restitution.

On September 20, 2019, Liora Welles (a/k/a “Lindsay Cole,” “Lindsay Wells,” and “Lindsay Taylor”) was sentenced to 14 months of imprisonment, followed by 2 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $2,395,310 in restitution.

On September 23, 2019, Yair Hadar (a/k/a “Steven Gold”) was sentenced to 8 months of imprisonment, followed by 2 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $1,200,000 in restitution.

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