Trial of alleged binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz gets rescheduled for July 2019

Maria Nikolova

A three-week trial is scheduled to begin on July 9, 2019.

The trial of alleged binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz has been rescheduled. The trial was initially set to begin this month, but has been delayed by several months following a Status Conference held on January 8, 2019 before Judge Theodore D. Chuang at the Maryland District Court.

A three-week trial is scheduled to begin on July 9, 2019.

There is no further information about what happened during the Status Conference yesterday, as the Court has restricted access to the relevant documents.

Let’s recall that the Indictment charges Lee Elbaz with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud. The Indictment alleges that Elbaz participated for over three years (from approximately May 2014 and continuing through approximately June 2017) in a fraudulent scheme involving the sale and marketing of binary options – including as the Chief Executive Officer of Yukom Communications. Yukom was an Israel-based business that provided sales and marketing services, including investor “retention services,” for two internet-based businesses that sold and marketed binary options with the brand names BinaryBook and BigOption.

The Government says that it expects to offer extensive evidence of the charged conspiracy.

The US authorities explain the Elbaz participated in an interview with the FBI shortly after she was arrested. During that interview, portions of which the Government will admit at trial, the defendant acknowledged

  • that she had been the CEO of Yukom;
  • that she used the alias Lena Green;
  • that she used the email addresses [email protected] and [email protected];
  • that Yukom provided “retention” services to BinaryBook and BigOption;
  • that other employees used “stage names” and told investors that they were located in London when they were actually in Israel – the latter of which she conceded was a “lie”; and
  • that “95%” of investors in the binary options market lose money.

The Government aims to establish at trial that Yukom worked in coordination with at least two affiliated companies—Linkopia, a Mauritius-based business that performed investor “conversion” work for BinaryBook and BigOption, as well as Numaris, which performed “retention” work in connection with Yukom.

The US Government also notes that as part of the ordinary course of business of BinaryBook and BigOption, calls were recorded and reviewed by managerial staff, including Elbaz, for training, quality control.

The recorded calls are full of false and misleading statements by representatives of BinaryBook and BigOption and are consistent with call scripts and training materials that were internally circulated among Elbaz and others.

One such recording contains a call with an investor by Elbaz (Green) herself that appears to have occurred on or about August 19, 2015. On the recording, Elbaz stated to the victim that she was originally from Russia; that she was the “floor manager” for BigOption; and that she was “almost the CEO” and “the highest person in the company.” She also stated to him that she wanted him to be “my partner” and “to succeed,” and that he would “like [her] results.” The Defendant emailed a recording of that call to other representatives of BinaryBook and BigOption with the explanation that it was “my call” “to show you they all have money”.

The Department of Justice has recently set up a special page for the victims of Lee Elbaz. The website provides a summary of the case, information regarding the case’s status, and other significant case-related documents, such as the charging documents. The website also contains an e-mail address and telephone number for a Victim Assistance Line through which individual potential crime victims could contact the Department of Justice with questions regarding the case.

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