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Jekaterina Pedosa and Binary Scam (2024)

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Regulators have always been concerned about forex and online trading frauds, even prior to the introduction of binary options into the state in or around 2009. We are aware of the identities of the Israeli offenders Yossi Herzog, Aviv Talmor, Stavro D’Amore, and Guy Galboiz, who was a rookie at the time, thanks to this pre-binary options era of forex schemes. The 4XP forex scheme comprised a network of brands that operated globally with numerous organisations, including Forex Place, Forex TG, FXTG, and SkyFX. It was the period before CySEC. The 4XP scheme’s heirs moved to Cyprus during the binary options era, and Cyprus quickly became the go-to offshore location for Israelis.

The groundbreaking 4XP forex program and Jekaterina Pedosa

There were no FinTechs as we know them now in the pre-binary options forex period. Payment transactions were a real issue back then, therefore it’s not surprising that a large number of Israeli FinTechs and payment processors also arose during the boom years of binary options between 2012 and 2017. The binary options craze would never have happened and thousands of victims would not have lost money if these new payment processors had not been introduced.

With the helpful assistance of David Cartu and his network of payment processors, the now-defunct Wirecard and binary options scams involving GreyMountain Management and MegaCharge have also been brought to light by the binary options frenzy.

One of the main breeding grounds for the fraudulent Israeli binary options industry, whose representatives are currently being sued by victims or charged by law enforcement and prosecutors in numerous jurisdictions, was the 4XP scheme. However, 4XP was initially not a CySEC issue. The 4XP moved to Cyprus for CySEC only gradually.

The 4XP forex scheme began in 2008/09 with the establishment of Forex Place Ltd in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Forex TG Ltd in the UK, and Forex TG Pty Ltd in Australia by DealServe, an Israeli infrastructure and forex service provider. Leading figures in forex trading at the time, such Israelis Stavro D’Amore, Yossi Ashkenazi, Aviv Talmor, Yossi Herzog, Guy Galboiz, and Roy Almagor, oversaw these businesses.

Daniel Kibel served as the CEO of Forex TG Ltd, which was initially granted a license by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2010 under reference number 491661. The business was permitted to function under the following five trading styles:

In reality, the 4XP scheme’s Australian operator, Forex TG Pty Ltd, registered and ran the exact identical trademarks there (see to the company history). The plan underwent multiple iterations and was in operation for nearly a decade. Finally, in 2020 or so, it disappeared. In 2016, the Australian Forex TG Pty Ltd changed its name to Berndale Group Pty Ltd. Since then, it has undergone multiple name, brand, and director changes (see to the company history). In November 2018, ASIC in Australia revoked Berndale Capital Securities Pty Ltd’s AFS licence. This time, the business was handled by Stavro D’Amore, who supposedly succeeded his compatriot Aviv Talmor in November 2015 in terms of leadership and management. Still, the business is currently under liquidation.

Although the 4XP scheme had numerous name changes, its deception remained constant despite changes to its businesses, owners, directors, officers, and authorities. Eventually, it was discovered that some of the names from the pioneering Forex scam 4XP et al were also the operators of massive binary options frauds, including Yossi Herzog or Guy Galboiz. Some still serve as directors of businesses governed by CySEC, such as Roy Almagor of Maxigrid and Maxiflex. The newer generation of binary options scammers, like Lee Elbaz and Gal Barak, is a product of this pre-binary options era.

Alerts to Investors and Orders to Cease and Desist

Authorities in charge of overseeing various regulatory frameworks warned against the early forex scams involving pre-binary options and pre-CySEC traders such as 4XP, FXTG, SkyFX, and others almost immediately. The initiative targeted aspiring FX traders worldwide. The list of alerts and casualties extended from Canada to Australia, passing through Spain, the UK, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and the United States.

In April 2013, the BVI Financial Services Commission, the purported licensor and regulator of the initial 4XP scheme, issued a Cease and Desist Order against 4XP and Forex Place Ltd, both registered in the BVI. Additionally, the BVI regulator verified to a victim of fraud that Forex Place Ltd has never held a licence.

Start of the CySEC period

CySEC granted AGM Markets Ltd. CIF licence number 145/11 in 2011. Later, the business changed its name to Maxigrid Ltd., and Roy Almagor, a 4XP seasoned player, became a director and shareholder. Yossi Herzog, an Almagor 4XP fellow, formed AGM Markets Pty Ltd in Australia. ASIC granted the company an ASF licence, which was revoked in November 2018. Yossi Ashkenazi was the company’s manager at the time. For eight years, the Australian financial market was unable to access this.

CySEC awarded CIF License No. 151/11 to Trademarker (Cyprus) Ltd in August 2011 shortly after AGM Markets, allowing the company to run the two fraudulent names, CapitalOption and SkyFX, on the 4XP network. Up until 2015, 4XP treated the SkyFX brand as if it were a subsidiary, with Jonathan Frankenstein serving as CEO.

Press reports state that the mastermind behind these two scam variations was none other than infamous Israeli con artist Aviv Talmor, who purchased the ASIC-regulated FXTG and the CySEC-regulated SkyFX in or around 2012. While Aviv Talmor was imprisoned in Israel in 2016, CySEC cancelled the trademarker’s licence in April of that same year.

Cyprus positioned itself as the offshore hub of the illegal binary options industry that originated in Israel with the acquisition of AGM Markets (now Maxigrid) and Trademarker. With the establishment of the Trademarkers, important managers from 4XP were settled in Cyprus.

It was obviously impossible to include every name, brand, and company in this succinct introduction to 4XP. That was not the intention. On the other hand, evidence suggests that the names connected to 4XP were eventually implicated in the massive binary options scam. U.S. prosecutors are currently looking for certain individuals, such as Yossi Herzog, Lee Elbaz, and Kobi Cohen. In Israel, Aviv Talmor was detained and faced charges. For a very long time, the legal systems of many jurisdictions will be occupied with cases involving the 4XP names, their heirs, and their networks. And as will become clear from the upcoming reports in this series, the CySEC was at the centre of the binary options scam.

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