The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) unveiled charges against two former owners of a binary options trading firm and 13 others. These 15 people now stand accused of participating in a scheme that defrauded investors around the world by fraudulently marketing US$140 million in binary options.

The 15 are current or former residents of Israel, and were each charged in the District of Maryland with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud.

The indictment alleges the defendants and their co-conspirators fraudulently sold binary options through two websites, BinaryBook and BigOption, which “misled investors by falsely claiming to represent the interests of investors when, in fact, the owners of BinaryBook and BigOption profited when investors lost money.”

It also alleges that the 15 people misrepresented the suitability of, and expected return on, binary options trading; misled investors; and misrepresented whether and how investors could withdraw funds.

The defendants the case are all presumed innocent, and none of the charges have been proven.