US Govt refuses to publicly disclose identity of binary options fraud victims amid safety concerns

Maria Nikolova

The identity of some of the victims of the fraudulent binary options scheme involving Lee Elbaz has not been made public.

It has been a month since Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the Maryland District Court denied the motions by Lee Elbaz, former CEO of Israel-based company Yukom Communications, a binary options sales and marketing company, to dismiss the criminal case against her.

Elbaz is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud.

The indictment alleges that in her role as CEO of Yukom, Elbaz, along with her co-conspirators and subordinates, misled investors using BinaryBook and BigOption by falsely claiming to represent the interests of investors but that, in fact, the owners of BinaryBook and BigOption profited when investors lost money. In addition, the defendant misrepresented the suitability of and expected return on investments through BinaryBook and BigOption and provided investors with false names and qualifications. Lee Elbaz was usually Lena Green.

As the proceedings against Elbaz in the US continue, the US Government has been ordered to make two sets of disclosures:

  • First, the Court directed the Government, “inn the absence of safety concerns,” to “state the names of Victims A, B, and C referenced in the Indictment.”
  • Second, the Court directed the Government, in light of the “voluminous discovery” provided, to include a “list of the allegedly false statements made directly by Elbaz, if any, that it intends to introduce at trial, including the date of the statement and the person to whom it was made.”

On Wednesday, October 10th, the Government submitted its response to these orders. There are no issues related to the second set of data requested but the first set of data is not made public. The Government explains that it has provided Elbaz’s counsel with the names of Victims A, B, and C but refrains from stating these names in a public filing.

”Although the Government is unaware of any specific or direct threat to these victims, there are members of the charged conspiracy who are still at large and who may have the means to cause harm to or otherwise intimidate the victims”, the Government says.

In the course of the Government’s investigation, other witnesses have raised safety concerns with the Government concerning certain members of the charged conspiracy—other than Elbaz—and have sought law enforcement assistance to address their concerns.

The case against Lee Elbaz is captioned USA v. Elbaz (8:18-cr-00157).

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