Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rosen today handed down three-year prison sentences to Jacky Ben-Zaken and Eitan Eldar, who were convicted of manipulating the shares of Israel Financial Levers Ltd. (TASE:LVR) and fraud. He also fined each of them NIS 250,000.
"The crimes committed by the accused could potentially damage confidence in the capital market, the capital market's life's blood. These actions are capable of destroying the capital market, which is based on fair play," the judge wrote.
His verdict continued, "The accused interfered with the mechanism for determining the basis of one of the two principal indices on the stock exchange: the Tel Aviv 100, which has a major influence on institutions and investment entities that direct their investments to shares included in that index. They harmed the pension and other funds in which the money of innocent citizens is deposited for a rainy day, and caused damage to thousands of savers and the entire public. The damage was extensive and prolonged. They acted out of greed, while harming the general public and institutional funds in which the public's money is deposited."
The judge emphasized, "The capital market should be safeguarded from such fraudulent acts, and should be allowed to operate transparently. The penalty for crimes of this type should be increased substantially to a 4-7 year term, plus a fine."
At the same time, Judge Rosen noted, "Ben-Zaken is a respectable citizen with impressive abilities, who has contributed greatly to non-profit organizations and the general public," and took this into account in the sentence he imposed on Ben-Zaken.
The judge dismissed the accused's pleas against the mode of operation of the State Prosecutor, who withdrew one of the charges during the trial.
Ben-Zaken and Eldar are expected to appeal both their convictions and their sentences to the Supreme Court.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 8, 2015
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