Prosecutor: Israeli woman oversaw $145M investor fraud plot

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A federal prosecutor says emails, recorded telephone calls and videotaped evidence will show that an Israeli woman oversaw a global scheme to defraud tens of thousands of investors out of tens of millions of dollars.

But a defense attorney for Lee Elbaz told jurors Tuesday that the 38-year-old woman wanted her employees to “work clean” and didn’t condone any fraudulent tactics.

Elbaz, whose trial opened in Maryland, is one of 15 defendants charged in the case and the first to be tried.

Elbaz was CEO of Israel-based Yukom Communications. She’s accused of engaging in a scheme to dupe investors through the sale and marketing of financial instruments known as “binary options.”

A separate indictment against nine other defendants says the scheme cost investors more than $145 million worldwide.

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