Suspected fraud halts trading in Willi-Food share

Gregory Gurtovoy Photo: Shiri Habib-Valdhorn

 A derivative action has been filed in Tel Aviv against Gregory Gurtovoy and G. Willi-Food Investments directors. 

The Israel Securities Authority is investigating what it says are "suspicions of sophisticated and global fraud" by G. Willi-Food Investments Ltd. (TASE:WLFD). As a result, trading in the company share has been suspended, and a derivative action has been filed in Tel Aviv. G. Willi-Food Investments chairman and controlling shareholder Gregory Gurtovoy has been arrested in the affair, and former CEO Yossi Schneerson is under house arrest.

A request for approval of a $3 million class action against Gurtovoy and G. Willi-Food Investments directors was filed by Adv. Ram Dekel on behalf of shareholder Dov Friedman yesterday at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa District Court. The claim cited an investment of this amount in an inactive hotel in the Czech Republic. According to the claim, money from the company is being diverted to unclear destinations and for questionable purposes. "This money is apparently being used by the controlling shareholder or someone on his behalf for all sorts of unrelated business," the claim states. The claim says that it appears that "Gurtovoy coveted the company's well-filled treasury, which he emptied for his own unrelated needs."

Nasdaq last week announced the suspension of trading in the share of G. Willi-Food International (WILC), a subsidiary of G. Willi-Food Investments, until the company provides all the information demanded by Nasdaq. The company has a market cap of $49 million on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on February 22, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

Gregory Gurtovoy Photo: Shiri Habib-Valdhorn
Gregory Gurtovoy Photo: Shiri Habib-Valdhorn
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