Israel Police is recommending the indictment of three former El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) employees suspected of defrauding the airline.
Following a complaint filed by El Al a year ago, the Lahav 433 national police fraud squad conducted a thorough investigation of three El Al employees who worked in Eastern Europe on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, tax offenses, and other crimes.
The employees worked at El Al offices in Romania and Poland in 2008-2013, and are suspected of embezzling company funds on a huge scale. The chief suspect was the El Al payroll accountant for Eastern Europe, and the other two employees are suspected of assisting him in fraud and embezzlement.
The police today gave their findings to the State Attorney's Office, saying that the investigation had given rise to suspicion that the three suspects had fraudulently obtained money from El Al for years through a variety of methods, including fraudulent money transfers from the company's accounts to other accounts opened overseas, withdrawing money from the company treasury for private use, inflating reimbursements from the company for personal expenses, submitting forged invoices for reimbursement of general expenses, withdrawing money from the company treasury without a receipt, and withdrawing cash from the bank and the safe deposit box.
The police said, "At the end of the investigation, the investigative unit believes that it has established factual grounds that apparently substantiate the suspicion, each according to his part, of involvement in violations of the Prohibition on Money Laundering Law and Income Tax Ordinances, forgery by a public servant, theft by a public servant, false registration in corporate documents, fraud and breach of trust in a corporation, and obtaining benefits by fraud."
The investigative file will be given to the State Attorney's Office in the coming days for perusal and a decision on whether to indict the suspects.
El Al: The sums involved are not large
El Al said in response, "El Al's auditor exposed the incident in 2014. El Al contacted Israel Police and law enforcement agencies in Eastern Europe for the purpose of having an investigation conducted and bringing the guilty to trial. The amounts are not significant for the company.
"Throughout this period, El Al assisted law enforcement agencies in Israel and overseas. El Al treasured, and still does, moral integrity and the law. We are satisfied that the investigation has been completed and the guilty will be brought to justice."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on August 30, 2017
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