Yossi Herzog gets indicted in US, refuses to testify in case against binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz

Maria Nikolova

Lee Elbaz, the former CEO of Yukom Communications, wants immunity for Herzog.

There have been a raft of developments in the criminal case targeting binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz over the past several days. It turns out a number of individuals whose work was closely associated with that of Elbaz have been indicted in the United States. The list of these individuals includes Yossi Herzog.

Let’s recall that Elbaz had wanted to take depositions of a number of individuals Yossi Herzog, Elad Bigelman, Nissim Alfasi, and Chanan Tabarko. Yossi Herzog is the owner of Yukom Communications, and Lee Elbaz is its former CEO.

The latest filings with the Maryland District Court show that three of these four individuals have been indicted in the United States.

On February 13, 2019, a grand jury in the District of Maryland returned a sealed indictment against twelve defendants, among whom were Mr. Herzog, Mr. Bigelman, and Mr. Alfasi. Later that same month, a counsel traveled to Israel and met with multiple potential defense witnesses, including Mr. Herzog, Mr. Bigelman, and Mr. Alfasi.

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 next week without immunity.

Elbaz now requests the Court compel the Government to seek court-ordered use immunity for each of the witnesses. Alternatively, if the Court declines to compel the Government to provide use immunity, then Elbaz seeks a missing witness instruction.

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.

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