July 13, 2021, | AtoZ Markets- The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against a fraudulent binary options scheme which has resulted in losses of more than $50 million.
The regulator has filed a complaint against Jonathan (Yoni) Mimun (also known as Jonathan (“Yoni”) Maymon) and Ronn BenHarav, the individuals behind Porter Finance and Dalton Finance (the “Porter Brokers”).
The case concerns a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud retail investors in the United States through the unregistered offer and sale of security-based binary options from at least December 2014 through June 2017.
According to the SEC’s complaint, defendants owned and ran JMRB Media, Ltd., an Israeli company that operated “boiler rooms” where salespersons used lies, tricks, and high-pressure sales tactics to offer and sell binary options under the brand names Porter Finance and Dalton Finance.
The SEC alleges that JMRB employees lied to investors about their names, location and financial expertise, and earned investors’ trust by falsely stating that the brokers only earned money if investors made money.
What Did the SEC Say?
The complaint alleges that most investors who made deposits and traded binary options through the brokers lost money, and some individuals lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in Nevada, charges Jonathan Mimun and Ronn BenHarav with direct and indirect violations of the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange, among many other articles.
The complaint further seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest, financial penalties, and injunctions against both defendants.
Remember, that Porter Finance was one the web’s fastest growing binary options trading platform, offering an unmatched 1500% rate of returns on maximum returns on digital options.
How Did They Do the Scam?
The Porter Brokers structured their binary option profit/loss ratio so that, on any one trade, investors always risked losing more money on an incorrect prediction than they stood to gain on a correct prediction.
The Porter Brokers typically set the ratio at a 70% to 85% profit for correct predictions and a 90% to 100% loss for incorrect predictions. Given this payout structure, investors trading over a sufficient period of time will tend to lose all of their investment.
Also, the account balances investors saw when viewing the trading platform did not reflect money in any segregated account but instead were, as one former employee put it, “just numbers on a screen.”
Meanwhile, the Porter Brokers did not have sufficient money in their bank accounts to pay the obligations owed to their investors, and therefore needed those investors to lose their money in order to stay in business.
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