There is also a popular binary options recovery services scam, where fraudsters promise to “hunt” down the binary options scammers and retrieve the money from them through legal methods. In January 2018, Boston federal prosecutors filed a complaint against Leonel Alexis Valerio Santana and Frank Gregory Cedeno, accusing them of such type of fraud. In August 2018, Santana was sentenced to 63 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $105,869 (Cedeno was indicted in March and pleaded not guilty).
While binary options may be used in theoretical asset pricing, they are prone to fraud in their applications and hence banned by regulators in many jurisdictions as a form of gambling. Many binary option outlets have been exposed as fraudulent. The U.S. FBI is investigating binary option scams throughout the world, and the Israeli police have tied the industry to criminal syndicates. The European Union is publishing regulations that will ban binary options trading. ASIC considers binary options as a “high-risk” and “unpredictable” investment option.