Israel - Brothers indicted in NIS 500M tax scam
The Israel Tax Authority said that its investigators have revealed "one of the most severe cases of fraud in Israel's history," involving tax evasions amounting to NIS 500,000 million (roughly $135 million).
Two brothers, Jackie Mor, 59, from Or Yehuda and Avner Shapir, 52, from Netanyah, were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged part in the affair.
The brothers are suspected of issuing fictitious invoices, tax evasion and money laundering in the course of at least 10 years, through their heavy machinery and industrial vehicles rental business.
According to suspicions, the brothers inflated the sums written in the invoices. The two are also suspected of fraud, forgery and extortion.
The undercover investigation, which led to the two's arrest on Monday, has been going on for several months.
So far, the Tax Authority seized 15 apartments, allegedly purchased with the embezzled funds, and nine Porsche, BMW and industrial vehicles.
The searches also recovered NIS 4.5 million in cash.
One of the difficulties the investigators had to overcome was finding the fictitious ledgers the brothers were secretly keeping.
These were found in a storeroom on the ground floor of a Tel Aviv apartment building, where the two owned an apartment under their mother's name.
In the storeroom investigators found fictitious invoices amounting to NIS 350 million.
Since the investigation has been outed, the Tax Authority held for questioning close to 15 people for their alleged involvement in the affair.
Attorney Benny Katz, representing the two main suspects, denied the allegations.
The suspects' relatives told Ynet that "these are men who gave all their lives for the needy and didn't make one shekel from the affair. They are hardworking individuals."