15 charged in multimillion-dollar investment fraud case

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice says 15 people have been charged in connection with a $140 million fraud scheme.

The agency says the individuals charged in a superseding indictment unsealed Friday in Maryland were involved with an Israeli company that provided sales and marketing for internet-based “binary options” trades for clients. They face counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Authorities say Yukom Communications employees falsely guaranteed generous returns and didn’t tell investors the company handling their trades only made money if its customers lost money.

The payout on a binary option typically is linked to whether the price of an asset, such as a stock, rises above or falls below a specified amount at a particular time.

Yukom CEO Lee Elbaz was convicted in August of orchestrating the scheme.

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