About a year after binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz, the former CEO of Israel-based Yukom Communications, was sentenced to 240 months in prison, she is seeking to vacate the conviction.
The Brief, filed earlier today by Elbaz at the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and seen by FX News Group, makes some rather startling claims.
For instance, Elbaz insists that “she did not intend to commit fraud and she stopped fraud when she saw it at the company”. These claims, Elbaz says, would have been confirmed by her boss Yossi Herzog. He, however, did not show up to testify, as he was himself named among the defendants in a criminal case concerning binary options fraud.
Elbaz did not deny at trial, and does not deny now, that her company was involved in a fraudulent scheme. But she denies that she knew that her company was committing fraud.
She also argues the testimony against her at trial that asserted that she had fraudulent intent all came from the people who had pleaded guilty to committing fraud with Yukom themselves and were then testifying that they did so under Elbaz’s direction.
Let’s recall that, according to the evidence presented at trial, Elbaz and her co-conspirators 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 evidence showed that in her role as CEO of Yukom, Elbaz, along with her co-conspirators and subordinates, 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.
It is worth noting that, as per Court orders, Ms Elbaz will have to pay restitution in the amount of $28 million to harmed investors.
In her brief, Elbaz argues that the United States improperly prosecuted an Israeli fraud in the American criminal courts, violating the presumption against extraterritorial application of domestic criminal statutes.
Furthermore, she claims that the Maryland district court miscalculated the guideline imprisonment range by erroneously attributing to her losses that occurred to foreign customers as the result of foreign conduct that did not implicate United States interests.
For similar reasons, Elbaz says, the court erred in ordering her to pay $28 million in restitution, most of which is owed to foreign customers outside the United States.
Elbaz concludes that her conviction should be vacated. In the alternative to that, she insists that the Court should vacate the sentence and order a resentencing.