SEC Charges Yossi Engel with $47 Million Affinity Fraud Targeting Orthodox Jewish Community

Litigation Release Number 25613/January 12, 2023

Securities and Exchange Commission, Yossi Engle, No. 2:23-cv-00213 (C.D. Ca. Jan. 12, 2023)

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it had filed charges against Yossi Egel for allegedly perpetrating a $47 Million affinity fraud. The fraud was committed between December 2018-January 2020 and involved at least 30 members of the Orthodox Jewish Community.

In the complaint of the SEC, Engel, via his company iWitness Tech, LLC, allegedly deceived Orthodox members by falsely claiming he would purchase and install surveillance camera equipment. Engel also promised to invest the funds in a property that he intended to sell and develop in Israel. Both of these promises were false. Engel, instead of using the money to achieve the stated purpose, allegedly misappropriated it for personal gain. He then used the funds to make Ponzi like payments to investors who had invested earlier in order to sustain the scam.

In its complaint, filed in Los Angeles federal district, Engel is accused of violating anti-fraud provisions of Securities Act of 1933, and Securities Exchange Act of 1935. The SEC seeks a permanent court order, disgorgement with prejudgment and interest of the ill-gotten gain, along with a civil fine.

Marc Blau supervised the investigation of this case by Tamar Blaz and Dora Zaldivar. Daniel Blau and Gary Leung will supervise the litigation. The SEC is grateful for the help of the Israel Securities Authority.

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Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC for short, is the regulatory agency of the United States. It oversees and enforcing federal securities laws. Its main mission is to maintain fair and efficient market conditions and protect investors. The SEC accomplishes this by requiring firms to disclose relevant information to the general public, by preventing fraud and manipulating the securities markets, and by ensuring fair practice by brokers, dealers, investment advisors, etc. SEC plays an important role in enforcing security laws, investigating potential crimes, and taking legal actions against individuals or companies that violate these laws. SEC aims to protect the interests of investors in the securities markets, promote transparency and maintain market integrity.

More information can be found at

SEC’s Website

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