United States v. Yakov Cohen, et al.
PENDING CRIMINAL DIVISION CASES
United States v. Yakov Cohen, et al.
Court Docket No.: 19-cr-00077 (D. Maryland)
Court Assigned: This case is assigned to the Honorable Paula Xinis, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, United States Federal Building and Courthouse, 6500 Cherywood Lane, Greenbelt, MD 20770.
On October 30, 2023, defendant Ori Maymon was sentenced to 36 months of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, Maymon was ordered to pay $1,899,074 in restitution.
On October 20, 2023, defendant Gilad Mazugi was sentenced to 10 months of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, Mazugi was ordered to pay $1,531,341 in restitution.
At her arraignment on April 20, 2023, defendant Hadas Ben Haim pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
On October 26, 2022 court amended a judgement as to defendant Elad Bigelman to 36 months of imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, $100 court assessment and $3,766,449 in restitution on a joint and several basis with co-conspirator, Lee Elbaz. For more information regarding the case against Elbaz, please visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/lee-elbaz.
NOTICE: The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) are alerting the public, especially individuals who sent funds to BinaryBook, BigOption, or other binary options companies, to be aware of scams in which individuals claim to be working to refund investor funds. The FBI and DOJ have recently learned that individuals claiming to be calling on behalf of the DOJ, the FBI, or accounting firms hired by law enforcement agencies have contacted investors falsely claiming that they are working to refund money to investors. Scammers appear to be targeting individuals who have previously sent money to binary options entities. These individuals request certain information from investor victims, such as driver’s license and banking information, falsely promising that this information is necessary to process refunds.
The FBI and DOJ have not authorized any employees or affiliates of BigOption, BinaryBook, or any other entity to act on their behalf in contacting investors. The public is reminded that the FBI and DOJ do not call private citizens requesting money or bank account information and to never give out unsolicited requests for personal information to callers that you don't know. Individuals receiving such calls can file a complaint through the FBl’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov or contact the DOJ at the email address below.
Criminal Charges: On February 13, 2019, a federal grand jury in Maryland returned an indictment charging the following individuals with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud:
- Yakov Cohen
- Yosef Herzog
- Ori Maymon
- Nissim Alfasi
- Elad Bigelman
- Runal Jeebun
- Sabrina Elofer
- Afik Tori
- Anog Maarek
On September 25, 2019, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging an additional six defendants with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud:
- Oron Montgomery
- David Barzilay
- Gilad Mazugi
- Hadas Ben Haim
- Yousef Bishara
- Nir Erez
The superseding indictment alleges that beginning in May 2014, the defendants and their co-conspirators fraudulently marketed and sold binary options through multiple websites, including BinaryBook and BigOption. The indictment alleges that the conspirators worked for an Israel-based company, Yukom Communications (“Yukom”), which was involved in the sale and marketing of binary options.
As alleged in the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators mislead investors in BinaryBook and BigOption by inducing investors to deposit funds based on various false statements and material omissions regarding the purported alignment of financial incentives between investors and representatives of BinaryBook and BigOption; the suitability of binary options as investments; the potential return on investment; and the names, qualifications, and physical location of representatives. The indictment also alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators misrepresented investors’ ability to withdraw funds from accounts and further used deceptive terms including so-called “bonuses,” “risk free trades,” and “insured trades” to mislead investors.
Prior to the issuance of these indictments, on March 22, 2018, a federal grand jury in Maryland separately charged former Yukom CEO Lee Elbaz with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud. For more information regarding the case against Elbaz, please visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/lee-elbaz.
On January 22, 2021, defendant Yousef Bishara was sentenced to seven (7) months’ imprisonment to be followed by three (3) years’ supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution to victims in the sum of $1,130,488.
On July 17, 2020, defendant Anog Maarek was sentenced to eight (8) months’ imprisonment to be followed by three (3) years’ supervised release. The court subsequently handed down an order holding Maarek liable for paying restitution to victims in the sum of $1,591,077.
The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at email@example.com (link sends e-mail).
Presumption of Innocence: It is important to keep in mind that an indictment contains allegations only, and that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and that presumption requires both the court and our office to take certain steps to ensure that justice is served.
Crime Victims’ Rights Act and Right to Retain Counsel: The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged. Section 377I(c)(2) of this Act requires that we advise you that you have the right to retain counsel. Although the statute specifically sets forth your right to seek advice of an attorney with regard to your rights under the statute, there is no requirement that you retain counsel. The Government may not recommend any specific counsel, nor can the Government (or the Court) pay for counsel to represent you. Government attorneys represent the United States.
If you elect to obtain counsel to represent your interests, please have your attorney notify this office in writing at: U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20530, Attention: Victim Witness Unit; fax: (202) 514-3708; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you elect not to retain counsel to represent your interests, you do not need to do anything.
Plea Agreements: Please be aware that many criminal cases are resolved by plea agreement between the Department of Justice and the defendant. You should also know that it is not unusual for a defendant to seek to negotiate a plea agreement shortly before trial is scheduled to begin. Plea agreements can be made at any time and as late as the morning of trial, leaving little or no opportunity to provide notice to you of the date and time of the plea hearing. If the court schedules a plea hearing in this case, we will use our best efforts to notify you of available information as soon as practicable. If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding potential plea agreements, or any other aspect of the case, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at email@example.com, and we will put you in touch with the prosecutor.