CFTC case against binary options scam Yukom keeps dragging

One of the landmark actions that the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has taken against binary options scams is the one targeting Israel-based Yukom Communications and a raft of individuals associated with it, such as Lee Elbaz and Yossi Herzog. The case, however, has stalled for months, with the latest information from the Illinois Northern District Court showing that the proceedings are set for yet another delay.

The Honorable Andrea R. Wood has shifted the status hearing set for Wednesday, February 24, 2021, to March 30, 2021. Alike a month ago, when the hearing was postponed, this time again no reasons were mentioned for the delay.

In its complaint, the CFTC alleges that Yukom Communications and the entities linked to it fraudulently sold and marketed binary options to investors located in the United States and throughout the world through two websites, known as BinaryBook and BigOption. The defendants misled investors using BinaryBook and BigOption by falsely claiming to represent the interests of investors when, in fact, the owners of BinaryBook and BigOption profited when investors lost money.

The fraudulent scheme led investors to purchase more than $100 million in binary options.

Representatives of BinaryBook and BigOption, working under Elbaz’s supervision, misrepresented the terms of so-called “bonuses,” “risk free trades” and “insured trades,” and deceptively used these supposed benefits in a manner that in fact harmed investors.

One of the key defendants in the CFTC case is Lee Elbaz, who is currently appealing from her prison sentence in a related criminal case. Her appeal from the sentence has also resulted in a delay to the resolution of the case. Put briefly, victims of the fraudulent scheme have yet to get any compensation.

In October 2020, the CFTC secured Clerk’s entry of default against Yukom Communications Ltd., Yossi Herzog, and Shalom Peretz. In July 2020, the regulator secured default entries as to Linkopia Mauritius Ltd, Wirestech Limited, WSB Investment Ltd, Zolarex Ltd., and Lee Elbaz, the former CEO of Yukom Communications.

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