According to a report in the Jerusalem-based Times of Israel, titled “As Israel-based financial fraud soars, police swoop on 20 suspects as part of global, FBI-led sting,” the arrested crooks are “doing unprecedented damage to the reputation of Israel.”
A police statement acknowledged that Israel is “perceived as a center that exports this kind of fraud,” the Times of Israel continued.
According to the report, the 20 arrested Jews impersonated top executives of firms in Poland, Finland, India, France, and the United States, tricking lower-level staff into transferring them huge sums of company money.
The arrests were carried out “in conjunction with a global FBI sting against an international crime ring” that has scammed tens of millions of dollars from individuals and companies over the Internet.
The Times of Israel said that among those detained were Harry Meir Amar of Netanya, Shimon Ben Shitrit of Ashdod, Tamzi Bebershvili of Netanya, Ori Saadon of Beit Shemesh, Stanislav Nazarov of Or Akiva, Timur Kardanov of Netanya, Rabia Abdel Hai of Tira, Ahmad Abu Naji of Nazareth, Husam Hariri of Umm el-Fahm, and Moshe Hazan of Ramat Gan.
They are accused of fraud, aggravated fraud, conspiring to commit crimes, threats, extortion, money laundering, and running a criminal organization.
The suspects approached companies, including insurance companies, banks, and pension funds abroad, and impersonated senior executives of those companies.
They spoke to mid-level employees of the companies and led them to believe they were being entrusted to handle a large financial transaction on behalf of the company, but one that had to be treated with the utmost secrecy.
The mid-level employees were then instructed to wire money from the company’s corporate bank accounts to bank accounts controlled by the alleged fraudsters.
This money was then rapidly wired to bank accounts in China and elsewhere, and then transferred on to the alleged fraudsters and their co-conspirators.
In a press release, Israeli Police said that although the crime ring is international in scope, it is centered in Israel.
“These international fraudulent schemes involving social engineering are growing in scale and doing unprecedented damage to the reputation of Israel, which is perceived as a center that exports this kind of fraud,” the police warned.
In the U.S., 19 arrests—of whom at least seven were identified as Israelis by the Times of Israel—were announced in an official statement from the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia.
The Times of Israel admitted that the Jewish state is the center of the “binary options” fraud—and that Israeli Police have made no arrests in connection to binary options and forex fraud.
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