Credit company raided, finance bosses arrested over millions in missing funds

Securities regulators on Tuesday raided the offices of an Israeli credit company suspected of defrauding customers, falsifying documents and stealing millions from customers.

Unet Credit, a non-banking financial company, had former finance minister Moshe Kahlon, who resigned last month when news of the alleged criminal activity broke, as a member of its board. Kahlon is expected to be interviewed as part of the investigation.

The company has been embroiled in a series of scandals over the past year over repeated discrepancies in its funds, which have drawn the attention of authorities.

Four senior company officials were arrested on Tuesday – former CEO Yitzhak Ezer, Nazareth branch manager Yitzhak Eviatar and majority shareholders Shlomo Isaac and Shai Penso. They were released by a court under restrictive conditions, including a restraining order barring them from leaving Israel for 180 days.

The Israel Securities Authority alleged that the suspects committed fraud and concealed their activities from the company and the public by “falsely registering company documents and falsifying documents”.

The authority also accused Ezer of using his private account to trade in the company’s stock and, along with Isaac, “paying into the account of the private company they control” while using privileged information.

Moshe Kahlon, then finance minister, holds a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office, in Jerusalem on March 12, 2020. (Fitoussi/Flash90)

Eran Shaham-Shavit, Shlomo Isaac’s lawyer, said his client had cooperated with investigators and that he “continues to believe in the business and is confident that the business can return to a successful and profitable direction.”

Over the past year, Unet has lost millions of shekels in funds, including NIS 10.6 million ($3 million) from missing checks and a NIS 37.5 million ($10.8 million) loan. dollars) granted to Zoabi Holding in Nazareth that it is unable to recover.

Unet also revealed on Tuesday that she discovered another inconsistency in her books, which included a transaction of up to NIS 50 million ($14.4 million) made to a private company that was “not approved as the requires the law and not reported to the public”. reported the daily Israel Hayom.

In May, thieves disguised as food delivery men stole 3.5 million shekels ($1 million) from the company’s main branch in Holon. They were suspected by former company executives of having been helped from within.

Finally, an internal audit last month revealed a discrepancy of 7.7 million shekels ($2.23 million) in the company’s books.

Kahlon resigned two weeks after the audit, noting that “the company may have significant financial exposure, which was caused by events that occurred before I joined the company.”

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