Court dashes binary options fraudster Lee Elbaz’s attempt for case rehearing
Lee Elbaz, sentenced for a large-scale binary options fraud, has suffered yet another defeat in Court. Earlier this week, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an order denying her petition of rehearing en banc.
According to the Court ruling, seen by FX News Group, the petition for rehearing en banc was circulated to the full court. No judge requested a poll under Fed. R. App. P. 35. The court denied the petition.
Lee Elbaz and her confederates orchestrated a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme, operating from Israel and targeting unsophisticated victims worldwide. Posing as an investment firm, Elbaz and her partners solicited “investments” that cost fraud victims over $100 million, including millions from victims in the United States. While vacationing in New York, Elbaz was arrested and later convicted for conspiring to commit wire fraud and for substantive wire fraud itself. She was sentenced to 22 years in prison and required to pay $28 million in restitution.
Elbaz and her partners’ fraud scheme involved so-called “binary options.”
The scheme operated in three layers. First, binary-option investments were marketed by two foreign companies, BinaryBook and BigOption. Second, when a customer responded to an advertisement, they would be contacted by a “conversion” agent from a company called Linktopia, who would persuade the customer to become a client by depositing at least $250. Third, once the customer was on the hook, responsibility for “retention” would transfer to Yukom Communications, based in Israel.
Elbaz worked for Yukom in Israel in various capacities, including as its Chief Executive Officer. Elbaz and others at Yukom made fraudulent representations to retain investors by convincing them to deposit more money, then stopping them from withdrawing their funds. Yukom’s retention agents used fake names and told investors significant lies about their education, work experience, compensation incentives, location, and investment performance.
And these lies supported their various techniques to “lock the client in,” obtaining more deposits and refusing to permit withdrawals. In total, the scheme netted more than $100 million in deposits, including millions from American victims.