The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Israel Police raided a Tel Aviv-based company on Tuesday night and arrested 26 Israelis for their suspected involvement in an organized financial fraud. They are suspected of being involved in a sham cryptocurrency investment scheme.
Though the name of the company or the scheme is still unknown, authorities suspect that the individuals defrauded dozens of foreign citizens out of millions of shekels.
The bust was carried out following a joint investigation by US and Israeli authorities, as the scheme targeted US residents. American authorities were in charge of the investigation.
The scheme solicited money from victims by marketing various investment products, but no investment was made. Last month, the authorities used a sting operation to apprehend the alleged perpetrators.
Along with the arrests, authorities seized computers and digital storage media related to the scheme during search and seizure operations. The raids began Tuesday night and lasted until early Wednesday morning.
Charges have yet to be imposed.
According to multiple local media outlets, the majority of the arrested suspects have denied any wrongdoing, claiming that they were unaware of the scheme’s deception. One of them is also said to be a well-known business figure, but his identity has not been revealed.
The arrested individuals are still being questioned by police, but it is unclear whether they will face charges for fraud and money laundering.
Previously, US authorities charged the Israeli masterminds of several binary options schemes, including SpotOption, that typically targeted US residents. The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged two Israelis with operating boiler rooms and selling binary options.