Esther Freeman

Israeli grandma makes milliom shekels in Bitcoin but bank suspects fraud

After investing NIS 10,000 in Bitcoin, Esther Freeman discovered that her bank suspects she may have been involved in money laundering

Ynet |
Updated: 11.18.21, 23:29
An Israeli grandmother who made a profit of nearly one million shekels after investing in Bitcoin has been struggling to convince her bank to honour the investment.
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  • Esther Freeman, a 69-year old pensioner, told Ynet in an interview on Thursday that she first heard about the cryptocurrency eight years ago.
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    אסתר פרימן
    אסתר פרימן
    Esther Freeman
    (Photo: Haim Hornenstein)
    "I consider myself young at heart and said if the young crowd think it is a good investment, I will take my chances."
    Freeman purchased Bitcoins worth NIS 10,000 and left her investment alone.
    Now that she is no longer working, she thought to improve her situation as a pensioner and maybe help her kids out as well.
    To her joy she found that her modest investment had yielded a massive profit.
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    ביטקוין
    ביטקוין
    Bitcoins
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    She then approached her bank, the same branch that had handled her account for over 40 years, to ask how best to proceed with her NIS 900,000 earnings. She was referred by her bankers to an expert of their choosing, who validated her claims in writing.
    But that was not enough for the Bank Hapoalim, and they refused to accept her large deposit, claiming their concern over money laundering regulations.
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    בנק הפועלים
    בנק הפועלים
    Hapoalim Bank
    (Photo: Yaron Barner)
    Freeman is now taking the bank to court.
    "They've known me for decades and have handled all my finances," she said. "They know I have nothing to do with money laundering."
    Indeed rich people's troubles.
    First published: 21:33, 11.18.21
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