There have been forex and trading scams even before binary options. Later, the operators of these scams massively entered the binary options. Binary options were seen as gamification of Forex and Trading in the first years from 2009 and were only gradually registered as a financial instrument by the financial market authorities from 2012 onwards. The 4XP Forex scheme, which also operated with other brands such as Forex Place, Forex TG or FXTG or SkyFX, was one of those Israeli pre-binary options scams. Currenty, even these old pre-binary options schemes are investigated by the courts in several jurisdictions.
The 4XP scheme
The first traces of the 4XP and Forex Place scheme date back to 2008, when Forex Place Ltd was established in the UK and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) respectively. Forex Place Ltd in the UK was dissolved in May 2009 and replaced by Forex TG Ltd in the UK and Forex TG Pty Ltd in Australia. Both companies were directed by the Israelis Yossi Herzog and Guy Galboiz as well as the other persons mentioned.
Forex TG Ltd was originally licensed by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and operated under the following brands in 2009 and 2010:
- 4XT Forex Trade,
The license of the UK-registered Forex TG Ltd was revoked in 2010. From at least 2009 the BVI-registered Forex Place Ltd operated the 4XP scheme. Forex Place Ltd in the UK was dissolved in December 2012. The 4XP scheme finally vanished in or around 2012 when some companies were dissolved and/or directors resigned.
In Febr 2016, the Australian Forex TG Pty Ltd was renamed into Berndale Group Pty Ltd. It’s shareholders and directors changed but the rebranded company continued to operate scams.
The scheme’s key data
|4XP, 4XT, FXTG, Forex Place, SkyFX||Web||The scheme’s brands|
|Forex TG Pty Ltd
prev. Forex Place Australie Pty Ltd
ACN: 113 616 032
|Forex Place Ltd
Company No: 1486603
|British Virgin Islands (BVI)||Offshore entity|
|Forex Place Ltd
Company No 06579985
|United Kingdom (UK)||Operating entity dissolved in 2009|
|Forex TG Ltd
Company No 06725261
|United Kingdom (UK)||FCA-registered Forex broker with Reference number: 491661, stroke off in Dec 2012|
|Yosef “Yossi” Herzog (born 1965)||Israel||Shareholder, director,principal|
|Guy Gelboiz (born 1979)
|Israel||Shareholder, director, principal|
|Noam Chris Stiekema (born 1987)||South Africa||Shareholder, director|
|Yair Abramov (born 1945)||Israel||Shareholder, director|
|Benjamin “Benny” Abramov (born 1946)||Israel||Shareholder, director|
|Shimon Cohen (born 1951)||Israel||Shareholder, director|
|Roy “Roi” Douieb (born 1976)||Israel||Director|
|Meir Barak (born 1963)||Israel||Director|
|Daniel Kibel (born 1972)||Israel||Director|
Investor Warnings and Cease and Desist Order
As early as June 2011 the Portuguese regulator CMVM issued a public warning against 4XP and its operator Forex Place Ltd, registered in the UK.
In June 2013 the BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) publicly warned against 4XP and in October 2013 the agency issued a cease and desist order against the scheme and its alleged operator Forex Place Ltd, registered in BVI in June 2008. The BVI regulator confirmed to a defrauded victim that Forex Place Ltd actually has never been licensed.
In October 2013 Forex Peace Army qualified 4XP as scam:
There are now 7 Guilty Verdicts in the FPA Trader’s Court. 4XP is not responding to the FPA about these issues. It appears that 4XP.com is no longer processing client withdrawals. Because of this, the FPA has no choice but to declare 4XP to be a SCAM.Forex Peace Army (FPA) scam confirmation
In December 2013 the French watchdog AMF warned against 4XP.
German Commerzbank and BaFin
The 4XP scheme operators maintained banking relations with the JSC TBC Bank in Georgia and the Commerzbank AG in Germany. Despite warnings from financial market regulators since 2011, Commerzbank has accepted the 4XP scheme as a customer and processed payments for them at least until the end of 2012.
- Forex Place Ltd, IBAN DE09 5004 0000 0588 9092 00
The complaints of the defrauded customers to the German financial market supervisory authority BaFin in this regard have not yielded any results. Neither did the complaints filed with the European regulator ESMA. Both regulators actually explained that they have no legal capacity to investigate and prosecute fraud. While this is true the least what one could expect from those regulators is to fulfill their regulatory obligations and issue additional warnings and question the involved banks. The BaFin, however, explained to the complaining victim that it is satisfied with the Commerzbank answer and will not get in contact with the bank.
The former Israeli operators of Forex Scams later became the incubators of the gigantic Israeli Binary Options scam industry.
The co-operators of the 4XP scheme Yossi Herzog and Guy Galboiz became the most aggressive operators of binary options scams from 2013. Yossi Herzog, along with his partner Kobi Cohen and other managers and employees in the United States, is currently on trial for the Binary Options Scams surrounding the Israeli boiler room operator Yukom Communications Ltd (“Yukom“). Read more on the Yukom scam here on Cybersecurity Profilers.
The former CEO of Yukom, the Israeli Lee Elbaz, was already sentenced in December 2019 to 22 years in prison and $28 million restitution payment.