Israeli investment company Utrade's controlling shareholder Aviv Talmor was arrested today by the Israel Securities Authority ISA). Talmor has been abroad since fleeing Israel in September 2015. He has now returned to the country after talks between his lawyers and the ISA and was arrested on arrival at the airport and has had his remand extended for five days.
Talmor is suspected, through Utrade, of recruiting 600 clients between 2012 and 2015 and managing their money for investment on the stock exchange, choosing those investments using algorithms - an automatic system that requires no involvement by the client and no decisions. These activities took place even though Utrade had no license for managing investment portfolios.
Talmor is also suspected of making false presentations to motivate and persuade clients to invest money in the company.
The ISA also suspects that each investor was provided access to a virtual account that falsely presented the amount of the investment available to the investor when in practice the investor's money had been deposited in another account controlled solely by Talmor and the company. In this way a difference of $12 million accrued between the false presentation of financial balances in the virtual accounts and the cash held in the company's bank account.
Thus Talmor is suspected of managing portfolios without a license according to the Consultancy Law, not conducting ISA requirements according to the Securities Law, aggravated fraud, fraud and breach of corporate trust, corporate conduct offenses, money laundering offenses, and obstructing the course of justice. He is also suspected of running a Ponzi scheme and a receiver has been appointed for Utrade.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 29, 2016
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