US govt insists alleged binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz remains significant flight risk

Maria Nikolova

The former CEO of Yukom Communications remains an accused criminal with limited ties to the United States and significant flight risk, the US Government argues.

Lenience can be a problem in many areas of life, and the US Government now has to face the consequences of the Court’s lenience to Lee Elbaz, aka Lena Green, who was put under house arrest in September last year but now wants significant relaxation of her release conditions.

Earlier this week, the US Government responded to the request of Elbaz to modify the conditions of her release by opposing her requests to allow her to travel unaccompanied at least three days a week, as well as to attend mental health services unaccompanied and to attend religious services unaccompanied.

Let’s translate this into everyday terms: if Elbaz’s motion is granted in its entirety, the Court would be allowing the defendant in a criminal case to travel unaccompanied almost every day of the week.

According to the Government, this would constitute a significant opportunity for Elbaz – a foreign (Israeli – Ed.) national with almost no ties to this country and clear access to financial resources whom the magistrate judge correctly recognized is a flight risk—to flee or to take steps that would facilitate her eventual flight.

In addition, the Government notes that if the Defendant’s third-party custodian (Lee Elbaz’s aunt in San Francisco) is no longer able or willing to satisfy the responsibilities that she claimed to understand and undertook at the detention hearing, the appropriate course is for the Court to revoke the conditions permitting the defendant to be released pending trial. That is, the Court should remand Elbaz into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending completion of the trial in approximately six months.

Let’s recall that Lee Elbaz is accused of participating in a years-long, internet-based investment fraud – including as the Chief Executive Officer of a company called Yukom Communications- concerning the sale and marketing of “binary options.” That fraudulent scheme victimized United States residents, and others worldwide.

Elbaz’s detention hearing in the Maryland District Court took place on September 20, 2017, before Magistrate Judge Sullivan. At the time, the Pretrial Services Office in the District recommended that she be detained pending trial, the Government agreed, and the Defendant argued—at length and ultimately successfully—that she should be released into her aunt’s custody in San Francisco. Magistrate Judge Sullivan made clear that his decision to release Elbaz was a difficult one because he viewed her, a foreign national with limited ties to the United States, as a significant flight risk.

Magistrate Judge Sullivan explained his intention explicitly: ”My intention is this. It is very simple. I am moving a jail cell from the District of Maryland to [] 1633 Burrows Street, and she will be locked down in that residence 24/7, not allowed to go outside, not allowed to sit on the stoop, not allowed to take the trash out, not allowed to go have a cigarette outside or whatever”.

The latest motion by the defendant characterizes her aunt’s home as “a cramped apartment where all phone conversations with defense counsel can be overheard”, but that is not what the defendant told Magistrate Judge Sullivan. Elbaz’s counsel told Magistrate Judge Sullivan that the property was a “three-bedroom house” “worth $1.2 million” with an “extra room” for the defendant.

Furthermore, Elbaz now claims that there is a “lack of stability of [the] internet connection” at her aunt’s home, but at the detention hearing, when arguing in favor of her being permitted access to the Internet at all, Elbaz’s attorney was concerned that Internet would be restricted in full at her aunt’s home. He told Magistrate Judge Sullivan that the defendant’s aunt “has a tech start-up company. She can’t not have Internet in that house.”

Elbaz faces a prison sentence and a heavy fine if she is found guilty of fraud. The criminal case against her is captioned USA v. Elbaz (8:18-cr-00157).

Read this next

Executive Moves

Scope Markets promotes James Hughes to head of marketing

Belize-based FX and CFDs brokerage Scope Markets has promoted James Hughes, who until recently was its head of brand, to take on an expanded role as the company’s global head of marketing.

Retail FX

Fraudsters clone Financial Commission’s website, two ex-members under suspicion

The Financial Commission, an industry-specific dispute resolution service that caters to the financial services industry, today announced that it believes a clone website has been impersonating its membership roster.

Retail FX

CMC Markets warns of operational challenges in Q1

CMC Markets PLC (LSE:CMCX) said in a trading update for the fiscal year 2023 that February and March posed a more challenging environment with lower equity volumes and a higher proportion of lower margin institutional trading activity.


Why Is Digital PR So Important for Financial Service Providers? Buzz Dealer’s CEO Uri Samet with the Answers

Digital PR is all about spreading your message faster, wider, and stronger in the online world, through proper SEO, link-building, and organic and paid social media work.

Inside View

Why And How Are Virtual Cards Disrupting The Finance Industry

Virtual cards have the potential to revolutionize the finance industry by providing faster and more secure payments, wider acceptance, and eco-friendliness.


Sweat Economy’s Oleg Fomenko on upcoming launch of Move-to-Earn app in the US

With the crypto winter’s biggest hurdles seemingly behind us as the prices of Bitcoin et al. climb the charts again, the Web3 economy is preparing for the next phase.

Industry News

OptionMetrics acquires Woodseer to add dividend forecast data for equities

“The addition of Woodseer’s product suite will enhance our ability to serve financial market stakeholders and academic institutions in their analysis of equity market performance and risk.”

Digital Assets

Metacade raises over $14.7M as presale set to close in 72 hours

Metacade, one of the most exciting GameFi ventures of 2023, has now raised over $14.7m as the presale goes into its final hours. With over 90% sold, the project expects to sell out ahead of their scheduled closing time, set for Friday 31st March at 23:59 Pacific Time. 

Digital Assets

Coinme launches Circle’s USDC on Stellar network

“By enabling USDC on Stellar in the Coinme wallet, anyone with cash can now utilize the Stellar blockchain to access a fully-backed dollar digital currency. People can now swap their cash for USDC on Stellar and send it in seconds for the cost of a penny.”