Israeli Woman Convicted In Maryland In $145 Million Scheme To Defraud Investors

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An Israeli woman was convicted Wednesday of orchestrating a scheme to defraud tens of thousands of investors across the globe out of tens of millions of dollars.

Lee Elbaz, 38, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 9 by a federal judge in Maryland after her conviction on of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Elbaz had been free on bail and living with a relative in San Francisco while awaiting trial. U.S. District Judge George Hazel ordered her taken into custody immediately after the jury’s verdict, according to her attorney.

Elbaz was CEO of Yukom Communications, an Israel-based company that operated in the “binary options” industry under the brand names BinaryBook and BigOption. Elbaz trained employees to lie to investors and rigged the odds against them making and recouping any money, Justice Department prosecutor Rush Atkinson said during the trial’s closing arguments last week.

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