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Russo going to jail Photo: Ofer Amram
Russo going to jail Photo: Ofer Amram
 
Hirchson. Not wise enough? Photo: Yaron Brener
Hirchson. Not wise enough? Photo: Yaron Brener
 
 

Hirchson case: Former Labor Federation head sent to jail

Court sentences Yitzhak Russo to 15 months in prison, two years probation for his part in pending fraud case against former finance minister

Vered Luvitch
Published: 02.01.09, 10:06 / Israel News

The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday sentenced Yitzhak Russo, the former director-general of the National Labor Federation (NLF), to 15 months in prison and two years probation for his part in the pending fraud case against former Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson.

 

Russo admitted and was convicted of multiple counts of executive theft, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering, as part of a plea bargain he had struck with the State Prosecutor's Office.

 

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The court also ordered him to pay NIS 300,000 (about $73,777) in damages.

 

Judge Bracha Ofir-Tom hinted in Russo's sentence that Hirchson himself should have signed a plea bargain.

 

"It appears that all there is to say in this gloomy affair has been said once and twice and more, as part of the sentences given in the matters of the four other people involved in the affair, who were wise enough to sign plea deals with the prosecution and end their affairs."

 

Hirchson was one of the two only defendants who did not sign a plea bargain. The former finance minister was indicted half a year ago on multiple counts of larceny, executive theft, fraud, breach of trust, illicitly obtaining funds, money laundering and falsifying corporate documents in April, for allegedly embezzling about NIS 4 million (over $1.2 million) during his tenure as head of the NLF, between 1998 and 2005.

 

According to the indictment, some of the money was handed over to Hirchson in cash and in envelopes.

In December, the State entered another plea in the case, this time with Amatzia Boner, the former comptroller of the Nili Association.

 

The Tel Aviv District Court found Boner guilty of fraud and theft and sentenced him to 40 months in prison for his part in the Hirchson fraud case.

 

Prior to Boner's conviction, the State was able to convict two other senior NLF officials for their part in the case: Ovadia Cohen, former head of the NLF's financial division, and Ronit Garti, a senior NLF accountant.

 

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