Last week, six alleged scammers were arrested by Israeli police as part of a proceeding that required their extradition to the United States.
The arrest was made on Tuesday and the six individuals are now being held in custody while their attorneys are battling the request of extradition from the US government.
36-year old Ori Maymon, 30-year old Afik Tori, 39-year old Gilad Mazugi, 44-year old Dave Barzilay, 41-year old Oron Montgomery and 37-year old Nissim Alfasi were the six individuals arrested.
All six of them were sales agents or managers at a call center named Yukom Communications in Caesarea, which was operating the fraudulent websites Binarybook.com and Bigoption.com.
A US grand jury had indicted the six in February, 2019 and charged them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.
It is alleged that between 2014 and 2017, the men participated in stealing money from thousands of investors all over the globe worth $148 million.
This was allegedly accomplished via the fraudulent sale of binary options, which is a financial instrument that has been the focus of the scam industry in Israel.
According to the allegations in the indictment, the six men conspired to get maximum funds from investors and ensured that investors couldn’t withdraw the money from their accounts, or lost them.
As a matter of fact, these individuals were not upfront about the conflict of interest between the sales reps and the investors when convincing them to deposit more money.
Likewise, they also misrepresented the money that could be made via binary options, the biographies and locations as well as their own names.
The indictment further said that the individuals were also not clear about the chances of making withdrawals with the investors.
On Wednesday, Avi Kronenberg, the Israeli prosecutor, said that the defendants in the case were a flight risk, even though the charges made against these individuals had been made public three years ago.
Speaking in Jerusalem District Court, Kronenberg said that there was a flight risk because the individuals are now aware that the US is after them.
At the remand hearing of the defendants, he said that the punishments handed down by the US justice system are a lot harder than Israeli one.
He stated that Israeli proceedings are quite different from that of the US because the punishments are heavier in the latter.
He was referring to Lee Elbaz, the chief executive of Yukom Communications, who was sentenced in December 2019 by a Maryland court for 22 years.
Even though arrest warrants had also been issued for the six men in February 2019 by the Maryland court, they were living their lives in Israel until Tuesday morning’s arrest.
Their lawyers stated that in the last few years, these members have established new businesses, or even started families.
At the remand hearing, Alfasi and Maymon’s attorney said that they had not been contacted and no one had asked them to get in touch.