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2 North America ‘idealistic immigrants’ charged with close to $50 million fraud

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In its latest enforcement action against Israel-based alleged fraudsters, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has charged two Israeli citizens from North America, Ronn Ben Harav and Jonathan Mimun, with defrauding investors out of nearly $50 million.

According to an SEC complaint filed on July 12, the two men owned and operated a Tel Aviv boiler room known as JMRB Media, where salespeople allegedly used “lies, tricks, and high-pressure sales tactics” to defraud investors in the United States and worldwide through the websites Porterfinance.com and Daltonfinance.com.

The websites sold binary options, a high-risk financial instrument, that “were predominantly pitched by fraudsters operating from Israel,” the SEC complaint said. Binary options had their heyday from approximately 2013 through 2018, according to the SEC.

The Porter Finance and Dalton Finance schemes operated from at least December 2014 through June 2017, the SEC said.

According to the complaint, JMRB Media Ltd. and its affiliated companies employed 160 people at their peak. Many of these employees were sales agents who worked from a Tel Aviv boiler room, allegedly using fake names and pretending to be experienced investment brokers calling from London. The call center agents fraudulently solicited tens of thousands of investors in the United States, the complaint alleged. Many of these were elderly people who liquidated their retirement accounts in order to invest, and subsequently lost all or most of their money.

According to the complaint, Jonathan (“Yoni”) Mimun, also known as Jonathan “Yoni” Maymon, is a 34-year-old Canadian citizen; his 50 percent partner in JMRB Media, Ronn Ben Harav, 41, is a US citizen. Both are based in Israel.

Both men are clean-cut, well-spoken and speak Hebrew with an American accent, a source who is acquainted with Ben Harav and Mimun told The Times of Israel.

“They give the impression of being idealistic immigrants to Israel, from good families,” the source said.

According to the complaint, Mimun and Ben Harav were the two top dogs at the company. They were the only two people who had their own offices, as well as the individuals who made speeches at company parties.

However, the complaint alleged, Ben Harav appeared to be the dominant partner of the two.

“As described by a former employee, Ben Harav was the ‘number one’ at JMRB who ‘bullied’........

© The Times of Israel

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