Arcadi Gaydamak
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Billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak indicted for fraud, money laundering

Russian businessman, several top executives of Bank Hapolaim subsidiary suspected of perpetrating fraud, money laundering amounting to NIS 650M. Gaydamak announces will show up for court in Israel 'to show indictment is baseless'

Billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak was indicted on several counts of fraud and money laundering Thursday, in the amount of NIS 650 million (approx. $173 million).


The indictment, which also named several banking officials, was filed with the Tel Aviv District Court.


Gaydamak said in response to the decision to indict him that he will show up for court in Israel "in order to show that there is no factual basis to the indictment."


Gaydamak, who has been in Moscow since leaving the country in 2008, made these statements via his lawyers, David Libai and Shlomo Ben-Ari.


In addition to Gaydamak, the indictment includes top Poalim Trust Services – a subsidiary of Bank Hapolaim – executives Haim Shamir, Shlomo Recht and Ram Levy; Keren Laloum, head of customer relations in Hapoalim's Hayarkon Branch in Tel Aviv, and Nahum Galmor, who acted on Gaydamak's behalf.


All five are facing multiple fraud and money laundering charges. The severity of the indictment is derived from the involvement of bank auxiliary corporation executives in what was called "the utilizing of the Israeli banking system for the purpose of defraudment and money laundering."


The prosecution alleges that the fraud amounted to a staggering NIS 650 million (approx. $173 million).


Poalim Trust Services Ltd. and the chairman of its board of directors are accused of enabling Gaydamak to purchase a Dutch company by using Galmor as the middleman, and without disclosing the mogul's true identity as the financier.


Galmor presented himself as the one purchasing the company while using $50 million of Gaydamak's money, thus committing fraud.


Poalim Trust Services allegedly cooperated with the pretence by producing false banking documentation, presented to the Dutch company's shareholders.


Hapoalim's subsidiary and its executives are further suspected of defaulting on Money Laundering Prohibition Authority orders obliging them to report on any activity by Gaydamak and two other clients.


The State alleges that the Poalim Trust Services' legal counsel was involved in at least one omission, as was the head of customer relations in Hapoalim's branch which held the account in question.


As part of the indictment, the State asked to court to order a forfeiture of some NIS 40 million-worth ($10.6 million) of Poalim Trust Services assets, should a conviction be secured.


Ofer Petersburg contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 10.01.09, 11:18
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