Sting of millions: indictment against 5 people for telemarketing scam of seniors – trial

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The Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office (criminal) filed an indictment this morning against five defendants on a sting charge of seniors in the telemarketing method. The defendants are Shani Elimelech (30) from Rishon Lezion, Shelly Hazaz (37) from Bat Yam, Mirit Devorah (34) from Tel Aviv, Assaf Devorah (38) from Tel Aviv and Shimon Katorza (27) from Ramla The indictment attributes to them offenses of receiving anything fraudulently in aggravated circumstances, conspiracy to commit a crime, tax offenses, and offenses under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Consumer Protection Act and the Privacy Protection Act.

According to the indictment, filed by attorney Meredith Shiban Perkel, in 2018-2015, the defendants acted in a systematic and organized fraudulent scheme against a public of victims, mostly elderly, in order to make a profit at their expense – which amounted to about NIS 20 million. Named after them – “Super Life”, “Buy Gold”, “Buy and Enjoy”, “Safe Shopping”, “Good Service” and “Buy at Home” – and addressed people in telemarketing conversations, presenting them with a false impression that they are registered in the customer club of The same companies.

The defendants told the victims that their initial subscription period, which was free, had apparently ended, and that for the continuation of membership in the club they were required to pay hundreds of shekels a month for two years – although in fact they were not members of those clubs and never agreed to join such a club. Based on this false presentation, the victims were required to pay sums accumulated in thousands of shekels to the fraudulent companies, usually through their credit clearing.

The indictment further states that the defendants employed companies that set up dozens of telephones, which made telephone contact with the victims according to the “leads” given to them by the defendants or under their guidance, using a structured call script given to them. The indictment was called a “fraud scenario, designed to motivate customers to pay according to the fraud plan, including while using pressure, intimidation and incessant engagements, despite the victims’ requests not to contact them, until they fraudulently received their credit details from thousands. Shekels for the victim. “

Straw men

The indictment points to Shani Elimelech as the one who allegedly used other defendants for fraudulent purposes. After receiving complaints about Elimelech’s case, Isracard refused to clear its credit. However, she did not stop working, and used the other defendants as “straw men”, in whose name she fraudulently received clearing and financial services. Elimelech is also accused of doing so in violation of the prohibition on money laundering, since she allegedly disguised her source of income.

The indictment further states that Elimelech received the information about the victims from databases, without their consent and contrary to an entire purpose, provided the information. In addition, she is accused of trading information with other business owners. Elimelech held information that included segmentation by age, and targeting by Arab locality or Russian origin – personal and sensitive information not provided by the people, as the indictment states. For this she is charged with offenses under the Privacy Protection Act.

Finally, all the defendants are accused of unlawfully omitting income, by using fictitious or fake invoices, offsetting the expenses in the reports and books of the various authorized dealers by using the same invoices, and not reporting their income.

The total income of each of the defendants who were not reported according to the indictment is: Shani Elimelech – income of NIS 7,924,758 million; Shelly Hazaz – NIS 3,002,637 million; Mirit Deborah – NIS 3,800,056 million; Assaf Deborah – NIS 2,555,799; Shimon Katorza – NIS 440,111.

The investigation was conducted by a fraud department in the Tel Aviv District Police, an Assessing Officer Central Investigations in the Tax Authority, the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority and the Privacy Protection Authority in the Ministry of Justice. It is likely that the court will be asked to award compensation to the injured party at the end of the proceedings, if it ends in a conviction.



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