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In a joint operation on Tuesday night, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Israel Police raided a Tel Aviv-based company and arrested 26 Israelis for their suspected involvement in running an organized financial fraud. They are suspected to be part of a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme.
Though the name of the company or the scheme is still unknown, the authorities are suspecting that the individuals have defrauded millions of shekels from dozens of foreign citizens.
The bust was conducted after a joint investigation of the United States and Israeli authorities as the scheme was targeting residents in the US. The investigation was led by the American authorities.
The scheme solicited money from victims by marketing various investment products but did not make any form of investment. The authorities trapped the alleged perpetrators by conducting a sting operation last month.
In addition to the arrests, the authorities also confiscated computers and digital storage media related to the scheme from search and seizure operations. The raids started Tuesday night went on till early morning on Wednesday.
Yet to Impose Charges
According to multiple local media outlets, most of the arrested suspects have denied any wrongdoing as they did not know that the scheme was a scam. One of them is also said to be a well-known figure in the business community, but his identity was not revealed.
The police are still interrogating the arrested persons, but it is not known if they will be charged or not for committing fraud and money laundering offenses.
Earlier, the US authorities charged the Israeli masterminds of multiple binary options schemes, including SpotOption, that usually targeted the US residents. Most recently, the US SEC charged two individuals based in Israel for allegedly running boiler rooms and selling binary options.