The Times of Israel reports that at least 12 owners and employees are under investigation for their role in the binary options industry. State prosecutors are considering indicting three senior employees of binary options and forex firms. Charges include fraud, money laundering or breach of trust.
Aviv Talmor Being Investigated
Aviv Talmor and his associates, part of Utrade Premium Ltd., along with numerous other companies are all being considered for indictment.
Talmor made headlines in February 2016 when he returned to Israel and was arrested. Talmor maintained his innocence at the time of his arrest. He is stating that he “didn’t steal any money.” The charges at the time allege that the former owner managed 600 investors’ funds without having the proper license.
He is also said to have lied to investors when he told them that he did not need a license to operate, despite law requiring a license in Israel.
UTrade was under investigation the year prior and was banned from signing on new clients. The ISA report suggests that investor funds may have been used for other purposes than agreed upon. The company’s actual cash in the bank at the time was $77,000, with the company reporting $12 million in the bank.
Investigations against Talmor and his associates are still outgoing, with the potential to indict him and three of his former employees.
Ido Fishman and Associates Also May Be Indicted
Ido Fishman and six of his former employees are also included in the criminal investigations in a second case. Fishman and his employees were all arrested in November. They are accused of providing investment advice without a proper license and for suspicion of aggravated fraud.
The seven individuals were part of the Itrader.co.il domain, which offers binary options and forex trading to Israelis.
Indictments in either case or of any of the twelve individuals is significant. This would be a major move forward in the forex and binary industry fraud that has plagued Israel. The mass fraud has come to a head in recent months. This culminated with a new law banning binary options completely in the country.
Clients who were defrauded and used a credit or debit card may be able to get their money back via a chargeback.
The ISA reports that 604 Israeli investors raised $27 million for Utrade between 2012 and 2015. The ISA states that the investments were done in a way that deceived investors. The trades were allegedly manipulative, aggressive or was done through falsifications. the lure to make money online was too strong for many potential investors.
Binary options and forex scams are said to have brought in as much as $10 billion a year in Israel. UTrade being a relatively small portion of the industry’s manipulative companies.