Brooklyn Man, Banned For Life from Commodities Trading, Indicted for Defrauding Investors
Defendant Promised to Invest in Binary Options, but Instead Stole Customers’ Money for His Personal Use and to Repay Others He Had Duped into Investing with Him
An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Yehuda Belsky, also known as “Jay Bell,” the owner of Brooklyn-based Y Trading, LLC, with mail fraud, failure to register as a commodities trading advisor, and misappropriation of customer funds. Belsky was arrested today and is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James McDonald, Director, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), announced the charges.
According to the indictment, in 2008 Belsky was permanently barred by the CFTC from trading in commodity futures transactions and options. Nonetheless, from March 2014 to June 2018 Belsky presented himself as an experienced commodities trader and promised investors he would invest their money in binary options, a type of investment in which investors are promised an opportunity to be paid predetermined amounts based upon the particular price of securities, commodities or other investments at particular points in time. Belsky further enticed investors by showing them fraudulent monthly account statements from the North American Derivatives Exchange that purported to show his successful history of commodities trading. Instead, he stole the investors’ money for his personal use and to repay other customers who he had fraudulently induced to trust him with investment funds.
“As alleged in the indictment, Belsky lured commodities investors with false promises of his trading success, and then betrayed them by embezzling their money,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, is committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting those who seek to use commodities markets as a means to illegally enrich themselves at the expense of investors.”
“Investors often turn to an advisor when they don’t know the ins and outs of the market trusting that the advisor will honestly assist investing their money. Unfortunately, that was not the case with Mr. Belsky who was already barred from trading, but nevertheless allegedly continued to defraud unsuspecting investors,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners investigate cases each day hoping to stop the next scheme from impacting investors who have to put faith in traders.”
“This action shows the CFTC’s continued commitment to working in parallel with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, and hold accountable bad actors in our markets,” stated CFTC Director McDonald.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted of mail fraud, Belsky faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sarah Wilson Rocha of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section under the supervision of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.
YEHUDA BELSKY (also known as “Jay Bell”)
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-504 (ARR)