Russian prosecutors charge accountant over $1 million theft to trade binary options

Maria Nikolova

An accountant working at the Housing and Utilities Administration misappropriated RUB 57 million to trade binary options with a Scottish broker.

Crimes related to binary options continue to proliferate across the globe, with the latest instance coming from the Russian Federation, where the prosecutors of the Kemerovo district have charged an accountant working at a local Housing and Utilities Administration office with serious fraud and embezzlement over stealing money from citizens to trade binary options.

The accountant, who was heavily indebted, decided to do “double accounting”, that is, to report the receipt of smaller amounts of money from citizens while actually getting bigger sums of money. The difference she kept to herself. As a result, the woman pocketed some RUB 57 million, or USD 1 million, which she decided to use for binary options trading.

According to a report by Russian newspaper “Kommersant”, the accountant was trading with an Edinburgh-based binary options broker, whose name is not mentioned. The company is said to have offices in London and Moscow too.

The accountant, however, was not able to make enough money to cover her debts and compensate for the deficiency in the Housing and Utilities Administration coffers.

The status of binary options in Russia is shady. The Bank of Russia has recently mentioned binary options in a document regarding brokers’ activities – but this is nothing more than a mention. Implementation of any rules by the regulator regarding binary options will take at least several years.

Scotland has ill fame regarding binary options. As FinanceFeeds reported in November last year, British police called binary options “UK’s biggest ever internet scam” as 30 shell companies were uncovered in Scotland. These shell entities were masking the identity of Israeli binary options fraudsters pretending to be British in order to steal a fortune by offering a fake trading environment.

The KPMG Fraud Barometer shows that investor fraud tripled in Scotland, leading to losses of £19 million in 2016. The UK suffered approximately £1.14 billion of fraud losses in 2016, up 55% from £732 million in 2015.

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