US Court nixes request by binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz to travel to Israel

Maria Nikolova

Judge Theodore D. Chuang has found that the defendant remains a significant risk of flight.

Lee Elbaz, aka Lena Green, the former CEO of Israel-based Yukom Communications who stands accused of binary options fraud in the United States, has had her request to travel to Israel turned down (again) by the Maryland District Court.

This is not the first time Elbaz has her request to travel denied. On March 29, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan denied Lee Elbaz’s Emergency Motion to Modify Conditions of Release to allow her to travel to Israel to visit her grandfather who is critically ill on the grounds that the defendant poses a flight risk. Afterwards, Elbaz filed a motion for review of the Magistrate Judge’s Order. The United States Government has filed a Memorandum in Opposition to the Motion.

The Court was, hence, required to conduct a de novo review of the Magistrate Judge’s ruling. Having reviewed the submissions by the parties, on April 2, 2019, the Court affirmed the Magistrate Judge’s detention order.

Judge Theodore D. Chuang said that while the Court is sympathetic to the desire of Elbaz and her family that she be permitted to visit a relative who is very ill, the Court cannot approve the request to modify the conditions of the defendant’s release. That is because the defendant remains a significant risk of flight. The requested modification of Elbaz’s release would not “reasonably assure the appearance of [the Defendant] as required” because the Government does not have the ability to compel her return, and extradition proceedings cannot be relied upon to secure her return, the Judge explained on Tuesday.

Hence, Elbaz’s Motion to Modify Conditions of Release was denied.

Elbaz was arrested by the FBI in September 2017. 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.

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