US Court refuses to grant immunity to Yossi Herzog in binary options fraud case

Maria Nikolova

The Maryland District Court nixed Lee Elbaz’s motion for granting immunity to several witnesses, including Yossi Herzog, the owner of Israeli-based Yukom Communications where Elbaz also worked.

Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the Maryland District Court has denied a motion by Lee Elbaz, the former CEO of Israeli-based Yukom Communications, for granting immunity to several individuals she wanted to call as witnesses, including Yossi Herzog, the owner of Yukom.

In an order signed on July 11, 2019, and made available to FinanceFeeds today, the Judge says that Lee Elbaz’s Motion to Compel Immunity or, in the Alternative, for an Instruction on Missing Witnesses is denied. The order did not elaborate on the reasons for the Court’s decision. These matters were discussed at the July 11, 2019 Pre-Trial Conference.

Let’s recall that Elbaz wanted immunity to be granted to Herzog and three other witnesses – Elad Bigelman, Nissim Alfasi, and Chanan Tabarko. 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 argued that immunity for defense witnesses is an appropriate remedy for misconduct or overreaching. She said that overreaching is an apt description of the Government’s communications with counsel for the deponents. The Government contended that its actions were taken in consultation with Judge Xinis.

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 trial in this case is set to commence on July 16, 2019.

Read this next

Digital Assets

Europe bans crypto payments to Russians as €10K cap scrapped

The European Union is taking further steps to sanction Russia after the recent developments surrounding its invasion of Ukraine.

Digital Assets

Mt. Gox creditors to get their funds through Bitstamp, other exchanges

The distribution of funds to creditors of the defunct crypto exchange Mt. Gox is set to kick off as the business’s Japanese bankruptcy trustee released a memo updating them of a new function and important deadlines.

Institutional FX

Tradeweb’s trading volumes hit $1.20 trillion per day in September

Tradeweb Markets, the online fixed-income trading platform, today reported its operational metrics for the month of September 2022, which has seen continued strong trading volumes so far. A frenzy that, at this pace, puts it on track to set a new record.

Crypto Insider

Cryptocurrency Spoofing: Why Should Investors Care About It?

Investors don’t just care about making more money. They care about their safety and security, too. This is observable in cryptocurrency, where consumers always protect their financial interests. People have developed this habit of fear of falling victim to possible scams and frauds.

Retail FX

FSCS closes London Capital & Finance (LCF) scandal after three years

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has provided a final date for closing the scheme to compensate investors who lost money in the London Capital & Finance scandal, namely on 31 October 2022.

Institutional FX

Cboe reports highest ADV for FX volume in two years

Cboe’s institutional spot FX platform today announced its trading volume for the month ending September 2022, which marks its third-highest month ever.

Executive Moves

Investall hires ex-DriveWealth Steve Cortright as CEO

Investall is an AI-driven mobile trading platform for personal finance and investing that delivers AI-driven trading for thousands of equities and major cryptocurrencies.

Digital Assets

SIX integrates CryptoCompare’s cryptocurrency data feed

SIX will provide digital asset data to its clients via the same delivery channels as its leading reference, pricing, corporate actions, regulatory, tax and ESG data.

Digital Assets

CME Group to launch reference rates and indices on Avalanche (AVAX), Filecoin (FIL), and Tezos (XTZ)

Several leading crypto exchanges and trading platforms will provide pricing data for these new benchmarks, starting initially with Bitstamp, Coinbase, Gemini, itBit, Kraken, and LMAX Digital.

<