Daily fraud update: 6th May

Chris Lee

CFTC comes down hard on alleged binary options scammers

A US regulator has filed a complaint against a range of people and companies which it claims are involved in binary options fraud.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), made this move at the Florida Southern District Court.

It brought the complaint against a wide range of defendants, including people and organisations based as far away as Bulgaria and Israel – although some based in the United States were also listed.

Binary options is notorious practice within the trading world in which providers offer traders the opportunity to speculate on one fixed outcome or another.

It has been discredited in a number of ways, and is considered by many to be an illegitimate form of trading, or even a scam.

Those accused are said by the CFTC to have operated since at least October 2013 and gone on until as recently as August 2018.

It is alleged that two different fraud schemes occurred, one of which was focused around binary options.

The other alleged scheme is understood to have focused on cryptocurrencies.

According to the CFTC’s allegations, one of the firms involved – named as Digital Platinum Limited (DPL), which was operated by Tal Valariola and Itay Barak – worked on an an affiliate marketing scheme which ultimately led to binary options.

It is understood that millions of people were solicited to participate in the scheme.

The crypto press described the CFTC as calling the scheme “unregistered”.

As part of the scheme’s marketing, between them, the alleged scammers supposedly did everything from produce videos to disseminate false statements.

One of the accused was named as Daniel Fingerhut, who is understood to be based in Miami Beach in the US state of Florida.

He is said to have carried out what were described as fraudulent solicitations as part of his work for a firm called All In Publishing LLC (AIP), which has been publicly associated with the fraud allegations.

It is understood that he worked in marketing at the firm.

According to the CFTC, Fingerhut has not had any sort of registration on its books during his lifetime.

The CFTC also released further details about Digital Platinum Limited.

This firm is believed to be based in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and is accused of having collaborated with AIP.

AIP is also believed to have worked as an intermediary designed to move traders who were solicited along the pipeline and get them to start using the systems.

In further intrigue, the CFTC also named the firm of Huf Mediya Ltd in the case.

This firm, which is also known as Hoof Media Ltd., is based in Bulgaria and is understood to be associated with Digital Platinum Limited – as well as with Digital Platinum, Inc., a now-dormant company which is also part of what appears to be a wide network of alleged operations.

Chris Lee

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