In August 2019, a jury unanimously found the former CEO ofbinary options scam operator Yukom Enterprises, the Israeli Lee Elbaz, guilty of investment fraud. Previously, five former employees had already pleaded guilty and testified as witnesses of the charges against her former scheme leader. One of them, the American-Israeli citizen Austin Smith, was last sentenced on November 22, 2019, to one year in prison and about half a million damages. His colleague, Israeli Yair Hadar, received 8 months in prison and $1.2 million in fines, while Lissa Mel and Liora Welles, both Israeli citizen, received 14 months and 12 months, respectively.
Postponed Sentencing to calculate the loss
Lee Elbaz was detained in the courtroom immediately after the jury’s conviction. She was not released on bail until convicted. Her sentencing was originally scheduled for December 9 but has been postponed to December 19, 2019. Prosecutors, as well as the court, apparently need more time to determine the actual damage.
According to the various motions and statements of the US prosecutors, it is expected that they will demand a long and perhaps even life sentence for Elbaz. The public prosecutor’s office argues with a damage sum of more than $140 million and the numerous damaged small investors. In an earlier filing, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicated that the US Government will hold Elbaz jointly and severally liable for the entire restitution and loss figure of $140,318,619.
The amount of damages is therefore of paramount importance to the extent of Lee Elbaz’s sentencing.
The SpotOption Calculation
The US prosecutors charged Lee Elbaz and her co-conspirators for the operation of the two binary options schemes BinaryBook and BigOption. These were operated by Yukom as so-called white-label solutions of the Israeli SpotOption trading platform. Its founder, Pini Peter, was also questioned by the FBI during a search of SpotOption’s Israeli offices. The prosecutors also accused Lee Elbaz in the trial of manipulating the accounts of client-victims with the collaboration of SpotOption employees.
As a matter of fact, Yukom operated more binary options schemes with their boiler rooms but the prosecutors indicted only these two. The U.S. regulator CFTC, however, also included the BinaryOnline scheme in its respective complaint.
The US court now wants more information from the prosecutors and defense before Lee Elbaz is sentenced. This makes sense because the lengths of the prison term and the amount of the restitution payments depend on the damage she is responsible for. SpotOption plays a major role in this, forex news site FinanceFeeds reports. The Court ordered that the parties should jointly calculate the total loss of the investors with BinaryBook and BigOption on the basis of the SpotOption data.