CFTC Has Charged Three Individuals Who Allegedly Pocketed $15M Through Investment Scams
Two persons (Tal Valariola and Itay Barak) of Digital Platinum Limited (a marketing firm based in Israel) and another individual (Daniel Fingerhut) of All In Publishing (a marketing firm based in the U.S.) have been charged with options fraud and Commodity Trading Advisor fraud.
Tal Valariola is the vice president of Digital Platinum while Itay Barak is the co-founder.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged the three individuals together because they allegedly worked together to swindle unsuspicious persons of money close to $15 million via a binary options and a digital asset platform.
“Throughout the period of at least October 2013 and continuing through at least August 2018 (“Relevant Period”), two massive fraudulent solicitation schemes occurred, one involving binary options and the other digital assets, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.”
The individuals utilized false advertising to swindle people. The marketing firms defrauded investors via various false advertising campaigns.
The campaigns promoted by the firms contained fake success stories that motivated users who viewed them to sign up to a binary options platform and a digital asset platform. The advertisement allegedly noted that the platforms would make them rich.
Due to the advertising campaigns, 51,917 new users were able to sign up for a binary options platform and they deposited about $13 million. Likewise, 8,093 new users were able to sign up for a digital asset platform and they deposited about $2 million.
The court documents noted that the companies spent up to $50k in producing videos that portrayed fake success stories. According to the court document:
“One such email from September 2015 revealed that AIP spent over $50,000 on the sales video and used the “best copywriter money can buy (think movie scripts/infomercial status).”
The CFTC wants to impose a number of injunctions against the three persons involved such that they will not be able to do any kind of business activities related to commodities again.