Status hearing in CFTC case against Yossi Herzog, Lee Elbaz and Yukom Communications set for October

Maria Nikolova

The binary options fraud case is assigned to the Honorable Andrea R. Wood of the Illinois Northern District Court.

Shortly after the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the launch of a lawsuit against a number of entities and individuals involved in $103 million binary options fraud, the Illinois Northern District Court has made clear the first details regarding the case’s schedule.

An initial status hearing is set for October 15, 2019 at 9:00 AM. The parties are directed to meet and conduct a planning conference pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f). At least seven days before the initial status hearing, the parties shall file a joint written status report, not to exceed five pages in length.

The case is assigned to the Honorable Andrea R. Wood of the Illinois Northern District Court. (You may recall this name from the lawsuit brought by Effex Capital, the entity embroiled in FXCM’s exit from the US retail FX market, against the National Futures Association.)

The list of defendants in this case includes:

  • Yukom Communications Ltd., incorporated in Israel;
  • Linkopia Mauritius Ltd., incorporated in Mauritius;
  • Wirestech Limited d/b/a BigOption, incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands;
  • WSB Investments Ltd. d/b/a BinaryBook, incorporated in Anguilla, the United Kingdom, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Gibraltar;
  • Zolarex Ltd. d/b/a BinaryOnline, incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands;
  • Yakov Cohen;
  • Yossi Herzog;
  • Lee Elbaz;
  • Shalom Peretz.

According to the CFTC’s complaint, from March 2014 through the present, the defendants fraudulently solicited and accepted more than $103 million in connection with their binary options trading scheme. As alleged in the complaint, the defendants have solicited individuals located throughout the U.S. and elsewhere to trade binary options through internet trading websites. The complaint further charges that the defendants have falsely stated that the binary options offered by the five defendant entities are actual transactions subject to objective market conditions when, in fact, they are mere book entries whose outcomes can and have been manipulated to force customer losses.

The CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, restitution for the benefit of customers, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction from future violations of the Commodity Exchange Act.

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