New evidence said to incriminate Kahlon in Unetcredit affair

Former Unetcredit chairman Moshe Kahlon credit: Tali Bogdansky
Former Unetcredit chairman Moshe Kahlon credit: Tali Bogdansky

The Israel Securities Authority has solid evidence that Moshe Kahlon allegedly knew about the irregularities at the non-banking credit company but as chairman failed to report them, "Globes" has learned.

In recent weeks the investigations department of the Israel Securities Authority has found solid evidence incriminating former Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon in the Unetcredit affair, "Globes" has learned. The evidence contradicts Kahlon's version of events in the affair and allegedly shows that he was definitely aware of the serious suspicions against the company but still did not report the matter.

Non-banking credit company Unetcredit's senior managers are suspected of stealing millions of shekel, forgery, money laundering and other offences and all of them have resigned or been fired over the past year. Kahlon, who served as chairman, resigned last June, after it became clear that NIS 50 million had gone missing from the company.

The investigators pressed but Kahlon denied

As "Globes" reported, Kahlon was questioned for hours on the affair in June in the offices of the Israel Securities Authority. He had served as chairman of the non-banking credit company for a year and was not suspected in involvement in the theft of tens of millions of shekels allegedly attributed to the company's senior executives but was suspected of failing to report the matter and concealing it.

In the investigation, Kahlon completely denied the claim that he knew about the irregularities and suspected embezzlement of funds in the company and failed to report it to the Israel Securities Authority. During the investigation, the investigators accused him of knowing about the misdemeanors in the company. The former Minister of Finance completely denied the investigators' statements, and claimed that as soon as he learned of the suspected irregularities regarding the missing checks, he ordered EY Israel to investigate it and appointed an external auditor for the case. Later, as soon as he was informed about the alleged criminal acts, he announced his resignation.

Kahlon recounted that the managers under him told him that this was not an extreme or substantial matter for the company, and for that reason he did report as the seriousness of the problem had not been revealed to him. He stated that although he was alerted to various administrative and functional problems, he never received a warning regarding substantive information requiring public reporting.

However, "Globes" has now learned that the Israel Securities Authority has solid evidence that contradicts his version. In addition to this significant evidence, Shlomo Isaac, who served as one of the controlling owners of Unetcredit, also incriminated Kahlon in his investigation and claimed that he had specifically warned Kahlon about suspected irregularities in the Nazareth branch.

"No intention of conducting the investigation in the media"

Adv. Nati Simchoni who is representing Kahlon said, "Mr. Kahlon trusts the law enforcement authorities, is cooperating fully and denies the allegations. We are confident that it will ultimately become clear that there was nothing inappropriate in the conduct of Mr. Kahlon, who devoted his entire life to doing good work for the benefit of the public. We do not intend to conduct the investigation through the media and refer to information that is groundless."

Israel Securities Authority said, "The Authority does not relate to intelligence and investigative matters."

Adv. Eran Shacham Shavit who represents Shlomo Isaac said, "All along, Mr. Isaac has claimed that in his role as a director, he did everything possible for the success of the company, and in the process also regularly updated Moshe Kahlon in all matters related to the company's affairs that were brought to his attention, as he was exposed to them as a director.

"Isaac acted in this way in his role as a director, but also due to Kahlon's role as active chairman of Unetcredit, a role in which he was a partner in the management of the company and kept up-to-date on all its matters. We are convinced that the thorough investigation conducted by the Israel Securities Authority will lead uncovering this truth."

Moshe Kahlon and the others being investigated in this matter are only suspects and have the right to the presumption of innocence

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on January 10, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Former Unetcredit chairman Moshe Kahlon credit: Tali Bogdansky
Former Unetcredit chairman Moshe Kahlon credit: Tali Bogdansky
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