U.S. DOJ LAUNCHES VICTIMS NOTIFICATION PROGRAM

The U.S. Department of Justice is taking a new approach to informing victims of pending fraud cases with many victims about the progress of the procedure. As part of the “Victims Notification Program“, potential victims of the two illegal retail broker platforms BinaryBook and BigOption, for example, can obtain information on the progress of the proceedings or make enquiries  via a dedicated website. This cases specifically have already been indicted by the U.S. prosecutor’s office. The Israeli Lee ELBAZ has been charged as the main perpetrator. The trial is scheduled for January 7, 2019. Until then, the trial website will keep the victims up to date with updates.

Lee ELBAZ, the former CEO of the Israel-based company, Yukon Communications, was charged in an indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud for her alleged participation in a scheme to defraud investors in the United States and across the world in financial instruments known as “binary options.”

The competent District Court has granted a motion by the U.S. Government to such an alternative notification procedure. It was taken into account by the Court that there are “multiple crime victims”. Hence, it has ordered that the Government may provide notice to potential crime victims on a website maintained by the Department of Justice as an alternative to providing individualized notice. It is assumed by the U.S. authorities that the alleged conduct may have affected thousands of individuals.

Efficient law enforcement is becoming increasingly difficult for the authorities in times of cybercrime with many thousands of victims across national borders and multiple jurisdictions. In this respect, measures such as those in the case of Lee ELBAZ are to be welcomed. In the interests of victim protection and the preventive protection of investors, the law enforcement authorities must be allowed to resort to similar mass-effective methods as the cybercriminals themselves.