Rabbi Josiah Pinto promised success: Elstein lost about NIS 3 billion


When the ultra-Orthodox businessman Eduardo Elstein from Argentina arrived 8 years ago to invest in the IDB Group, in Israel, he had high hopes for the promises of Rabbi Josiah Pinto.

According to the publications at the time, Rabbi Pinto – who is considered to be the one who mediated the huge deal between Nochi Dankner and Elstein – promised that everyone who invests in Israel “will see his money back and even double and triple.”

It did not happen. In fact, the exact opposite has happened.

In an article published today (Wednesday) by Shiri Habib and Waldhorn in the Globes newspaper, she writes: “It is hard to think of a businessman who lost so much here in such a short time as Eduardo Elstein – about NIS 3 billion in less than seven years in the ID group. Me. The control of IDB, it will be recalled, was acquired by Elstein during 2014 as part of a debt settlement sponsored by a court, when even then its situation was very bad, with a debt of billions of shekels to the bondholders.

“So what led the experienced financier from Argentina to burn such a large sum on an investment that he is now being fired from it in disgrace?” Asks Habib Waldhorn.

And she explains: “When Elstein first entered into an investment in the IDB Group in 2012 – then as a partner of former controlling shareholder Nochi Dankner at Ganden – he certainly hoped that the blessing of Rabbi Josiah Pinto, who is considered a mediator in the deal between the two, would come true. Rabbi Pinto promised Elstein, according to the publications, that anyone who invests in Israel – “will see his money back and even double and triple.”

But Habib Waldhorn emphasizes: “Exactly eight years later, and unfortunately for Elstein, his money – as mentioned, about NIS 3 billion he invested during his time at IDB – did not double or triple, but went down the drain.”

The author notes that “this is not a new phenomenon, and in recent years more cases have been reported in which businessmen relied on business recommendations that came from the direction of rabbis. For example, in 2010 Rabbi Pinto’s entourage went on a celebration in Bulgaria – seven planes with 1,600 followers, celebrities and businessmen.

“One of them was Ilan Ben Dov, who was then the controlling owner of the communications company Partner. “The rabbi is a secret partner. He is a friend, he is a consultant and he is smart, “Ben Dov told a Globes reporter who accompanied the trip.

When asked if the rabbi advises him on the business level, he replied: ‘Not on a daily level. Unequivocally, before buying a partner he gave me a blessing ‘. ‘Did he tell you’ go for it ‘?’ The reporter (Lee-Or Aberbach) and Ben Dov replied: “Exactly like that.”

Habib Waldhorn mentions that “Nochi Dankner, who eventually lost control of IDB in favor of Eduardo Elstein and was imprisoned, is also known to appreciate and consult with rabbis.

“Advising rabbis in many cases enjoy not only the prestige that accompanies advising large transactions but also adequate donations from the companies controlled by these businessmen to associations affiliated with rabbis.”

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