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Finance Magnates – Israeli broker scene shattered by Yukom judgments

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Between 2012 and 2018, the Israeli binary options industry was the engine of the globally admired startup nation. Simona Weinglass has uncovered the fraudulent nature of this industry with her March 2016 series The Wolves of Tel Aviv. She has pointed out that this industry is responsible for the worldwide fraud of retail investors.

An industry turning over hundreds of millions of dollars, employing thousands of people, is cynically cheating naive would-be investors worldwide via a range of corrupt practices. It is doing terrible harm to its victims, and it risks doing the same to Israel’s reputation.

A 2014 report on the Israeli Internet industry by TheTime startup incubator says that of the 90 Israeli Internet companies earning revenue of $10 million or more per year, 15 were online trading platforms, many of them trading forex and binary options. Three of these, according to the report, were assessed to have revenue of at least $100 million a year.

Simona Weinglass – The Wolves of Tel Aviv, The Times of Israel, March 23, 2016

In Tel Aviv, up to 10,000 highly paid people are said to have worked in the boiler rooms, marketing and software companies.

Since 2017, the authorities have been pursuing investigations in various jurisdictions against the key people in this Israeli fraud industry. With the charges against the Israeli Yukom Communications scheme, the conviction of former Yukom CEO Lee Elbaz (Israel) and the sentencing of former boiler room agent Lissa Mel (Israel) to one year in prison, two years of supervised release and almost $290,000 in restitution payments, fear is now spreading in Israel among the perpetrators. That’s at least what Finance Magnates reports and quotes anonymous insiders. Allegedly, former binary options people no longer dare to travel. Especially not to the USA where arrest and prosecution are feared. But also in Europe, the investigations are running and first arrest warrants against Israeli Scam brokers like Gal Barak are already issued.

It remains in the interest of the tens of thousands of retail investors to hope that Israel itself will finally start taking action against its scammers and online fraudsters to restore its reputation in the global financial community.

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