Lee Elbaz, accused of binary options fraud, renews request for immunity for Yossi Herzog
Elbaz, also known as Lena Green, insists the US Government overreached in taking actions that made Yossi Herzog unwilling to testify in her case.
Lee Elbaz, who stands accused of fraud in the United States, has reiterated her request for immunity to be granted to Yossi Herzog, the owner of Israeli-based Yukom Communications where Elbaz also worked.
In a document filed with the Maryland District Court on July 2, 2019, Elbaz argues that immunity has to be granted to Herzog and three other witnesses – Elad Bigelman, Nissim Alfasi, and Chanan Tabarko, she wants to depose.
On June 11, 2019, about one week before the scheduled depositions and approximately one month before trial, the Government contacted counsel for Mr. Herzog, Mr. Bigelman, and Mr. Alfasi and informed them that all three individuals had been charged in the United States in a sealed indictment. On the afternoon of June 12, 2019, the day following the calls by the Government to counsel for the witness apprising them of the sealed charges, the district court partially unsealed the indictment against Mr. Herzog, Mr. Bigelman, and Mr. Alfasi, making the charges against them publicly available for the first time.
On June 14, 2019, counsel for Mr. Herzog, Mr. Bigelman, Mr. Alfasi, and Mr. Tabarko informed counsel that their clients are no longer willing to appear voluntarily for their scheduled depositions without immunity.
In the document filed on July 2, 2019, Elbaz argues that immunity for defense witnesses is an appropriate remedy for misconduct or overreaching. She says that overreaching is an apt description of the Government’s communications with counsel for the deponents. According to Elbaz, by purportedly seeking to protect rights that were not at issue, the Government overreached in taking actions that resulted in the deponents no longer being willing to provide exculpatory testimony without immunity.
The Government contends that its actions were taken in consultation with Judge Xinis. But Elbaz says that none of the newly unsealed pleadings filed by the Government with Judge Xinis or any order issued by her, however, authorized the Government to reveal the existence of pending charges while they were still under seal; nor did they dictate the timing or content of the Government’s communications. In sum, according to the defendant, the path chosen by the Government rendered the deponents unavailable. She insists that this can be remedied by providing them immunity or, alternatively, by issuing a missing witness instruction.
The criminal proceedings against Lee Elbaz continue at the Maryland District Court, with the trial set to begin later in July.