Fraudulent Binary Options Led to Tens of Millions of Dollars in Investor Losses
Three non-US citizens, Raz Beserglik, Gil Beserglik, and Kai Christian Peterson, are now facing US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges accusing them of causing investors, including retirees, of losing tens of millions of dollars through the sale of fraudulent binary options via their binary options brokers Morton Finance, Bloombex Options, and Starling Capital. The brokerage firm are also defendants in the regulator’s case.
According to SEC Enforcement Davison Associate Director Melissa Hodgman, investors were promised fast profits. Instead, most of them lost money, with some of them losing all of their life savings.
The regulator’s complaint said that through call centers that were run like boiler rooms in Italy and Germany, salespeople contacted prospective clients and used high pressure tactics to get them to buy speculative binary options. As a result, from 2012 through 2016, investors from the US and elsewhere gave Bloombex Options over $80M to invest. Morton Finance, meantime, had gotten over 8,000 investors to deposit more than $14.75M by 2016. Over 2,700 investors deposited almost three million through Starling Capital. The brokers continued to accept investor funds at least through 2017.