By Eve Mykytyn and Gilad Atzmon | 6 August 2019
REDRESS INFORMATION AND ANALYSIS — Binary options fraud flourished in Israel for years before the industry was gradually outlawed by the Knesset, which first made binary options illegal only for Israeli investors. Finally, in 2017 the Knesset managed to ban the sale of binary options altogether (with a three month grace period). The legislation followed superb investigative reporting by the Times of Israel that began with a March 2016 article entitled “The wolves of Tel Aviv”. At its peak, thousands of Israelis were employed by hundreds of Israeli companies engaged in the fraud.
Despite the fact that an Israeli industry was defrauding Americans and Europeans, the American and European press have remained quiet about it. The US media have barely reported on the FBI’s arrest or the trial of Lee Elbaz, chief executive of Yukom Communications Ltd, an Israeli company accused of defrauding American investors out of millions of dollars. Maybe it is too much for the American mainstream media to advertise that a state that is pumped with billions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money gives little in return and ran an industry designed to separate Americans from their savings.
Apparently the Hebrew press also ignored the issue. Maybe this is because, after spring 2016, only non-Israelis were being defrauded. Perhaps the Israeli press was intimidated. After breaking the story, the Times of Israel was subjected to a “welter of legal and illegal threats” and intimidation, some of which were delivered by Israel’s most prestigious law firms, no doubt paid for by the billions scammed. […]