Trial opens for Israeli woman charged in $145M fraud scheme

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A federal trial begins this week for an Israeli woman charged in the US with directing a scheme to defraud tens of thousands of investors across the globe out of tens of millions of dollars.

Jury selection for Lee Elbaz’s trial is scheduled to start Tuesday in Maryland. She is one of 15 defendants charged in the case and the first to be tried. Five of them have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Elbaz was CEO of an Israel-based company called Yukom Communications. She is 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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