As his trial opens, Olmert still hopes to return to public life

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

Last Friday, Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert set off on a road that could take him to prison, or back to national leadership.

“I have come here as an innocent man,” he told the assembled media on the first day of his trial in Jerusalem, “and I believe that I will leave without any charge.”

Although Mr Olmert — the first former Israeli PM to stand trial — would not signal his plans for after the trial, his close friends have no doubt.


Peter Maxwell's manager admits £500,000 fraud

September 10, 2009

The former manager of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music, has admitted defrauding the 75-year-old composer of more than £500,000.

Michael Arnold, also 75, was Sir Peter’s manager for more than 30 years.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of false accounting involving £522,333 at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday. He will be sentenced on October 20.


Analysis: Former PM in dock after years of allegations

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2009

The accusations against Ehud Olmert in the indictment go back 20 years, all the way to a plane ticket allegedly bought for his wife with illegal funds.

Rumours of financial wrongdoing, both on a personal level and connected to party finance, have been swirling around him since the 1970s. He still managed to become a senior minister, a two-term Jerusalem mayor, a prime minister and the second longest-serving Knesset member in Israeli history after the eternal Shimon Peres. How did he get so far and why finally now, after scaling every possible height in political life, is he facing trial?


Corruption storm peaks in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2009

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was charged on Sunday with serious fraud, breach of trust, falsifying corporate records, receiving illicit benefits and tax evasion.

Meanwhile former Shas minister Shlomo Benizri this week began a four-year jail sentence for bribery; former finance minister Avraham Hirchson began a five-year jail sentence for embezzlement of funds; and former President Moshe Katsav’s trial for rape opened.


UK seeking millions from Israeli fraudster

By Leon Symons, August 6, 2009

A jailed Israeli lawyer has failed in his attempt to prevent the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) from trying to seize millions of pounds in assets he held in several London bank accounts.

Mr Justice Foskett, sitting in the High Court in London, ruled last week that even though the money belonged to someone outside Britain, SOCA had the authority to ask the lawyer, Israel Perry, how he and his family had amassed more than £14 million.


Shalit negotiator duped by $370m business hoax

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 16, 2009

The partial sale of an Israeli medical device firm to a British-Taiwanese company for $370 million has turned out to be an elaborate hoax, taking in serious businesspeople, senior doctors, former intelligence officers, political insiders and most of the Israeli media.

SafeSky seemed to have it all: a managing director who is the Prime Minister’s best friend, an invention that could change the medical world forever, a former Mossad deputy chief on the board and the potential to make all those involved into multi-millionaires.


Madoff gets 150 years for investment scam

By Jessica Elgot, June 29, 2009

Fraudster Bernie Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years in prison by a court in New York, the maximum the judge could impose.

Several hundred spectators arrived at federal court in New York to witness 71-year-old Madoff’s sentencing for a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme.

Madoff’s legal team had previously requested a 12-year sentence.
He pleaded guilty in March to a stream of offences including fraud, money laundering and perjury which amounted to almost $50 billion of investment fraud.


London student link to FBI fraud inquiry

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

An American family has warned that British Jews could unknowingly be the victims of an international fraud operation.

Deborah Stutman-Brickey and her husband David, of Columbus, Ohio, were forced to change their bank account after being targeted while attempting to let a student flat near Ohio State University.

Mrs Stutman-Brickey, a chemical engineer, said: “A very elaborate scheme of fraudulent cheques and getting bank routing numbers was launched, causing us many headaches.”


Jailed fraudster told to hand over £40,000

By Lynda Roughley, April 29, 2009

A Salford businessman involved in a huge international “advance fee” fraud has been ordered to hand over more than £40,000 cash.

A Liverpool Crown Court judge ruled that Michael Rashman had benefited by £1,542,312 but found that his realisable assets were only £42,5000.

Rashman, 55, who is currently serving a sentence of four years and nine months, was ordered by Judge Gerald Clifton to hand over the cash by September next year or he will have to serve an extra three and a half years in prison.


Rabbi is jailed for £5m fraud

By Tom Tugend, April 7, 2009

A Brooklyn rabbi has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to a tax fraud and money laundering scheme.

Rabbi Moshe Zigelman was key to a conspiracy which used five charities of the ultra-Orthodox Spinka group as fronts. Contributors received receipts for large sums which they wrote off on their tax returns. Then they were secretly repaid most of the cash.

In 2006 alone, Zigelman helped solicit more than $8.5 million (£5.3m), of which just $750,000 (£500,000) was kept by charities.