SEC Charges Individuals with Deceiving Retail Investors Through the Offer and Sale of Binary Options
The Securities and Exchange Commission Charged Two Israel-Based Individuals, Jonathan
Litigation Release No. 25140 / July 13, 2021
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jonathan Mimun a/k/a Jonathan Maymon and Ronn BenHarav, Case No. 2:21-cv-01314 (D. Nevada filed July 12, 2021)
"Yoni" Mimun (a/k/a Jonathan "Yoni" Maymon) and Ronn BenHarav, with defrauding U.S. investors, including retirees and other retail investors, out of millions of dollars through fraudulent, online offers and sales of high-risk securities known as binary options.
According to the SEC's complaint, defendants owned and ran JMRB Media, Ltd., an Israeli company that operated "boiler rooms" where salespersons used lies, tricks, and high-pressure sales tactics to offer and sell binary options under the brand names Porter Finance and Dalton Finance. Binary options are securities whose payouts are contingent on the outcome of a yes/no proposition, typically whether an underlying asset will be above or below a specified price at the time the option expires. The SEC alleges that JMRB employees lied to investors about their names, location and financial expertise, and earned investors' trust by falsely stating that the brokers only earned money if investors made money. In reality, the brokers allegedly earned money from investor losses and the operation was designed to maximize the likelihood that investors would lose money. The SEC's complaint further alleges that defendants devised a "win button" that, when activated, helped to produce winning trades for investors. Salespersons allegedly used this device to create a track record of recommending or placing successful trades for an investor, which was then used to solicit additional investor deposits. The complaint alleges that most investors who made deposits and traded binary options through the brokers lost money, and some individuals lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in Nevada, charges Jonathan Mimun and Ronn BenHarav with direct and indirect violations of the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, the registrations provisions of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act, and the broker-dealer registration provisions of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. The complaint further seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest, financial penalties, and injunctions against both defendants.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Jason Anthony and Deborah Maisel, and supervised by Paul Pashkoff and Jennifer Leete. The SEC's litigation against Jonathan Mimun and Ronn BenHarav will be led by Kenneth Donnelly and supervised by Frederick Block.