The Tel Aviv District Court convicted former Bank Hapoalim chairman Dani Dankner
on Thursday of fraud, breach of trust, improper management of the bank and
illegal receipt of funds and loans.
The conviction was decided in a plea
bargain agreement, achieved partially by the prosecution’s concession of
dropping the more serious charges against Dankner, such as money-laundering,
impure ethical practices and harming the bank’s interests.
As part of the
agreement, Dankner agreed to pay an NIS 1 million penalty.
A statement by
the prosecution indicated that head state prosecutor Moshe Lador had personally
approved the agreement.
Dankner was once among the most powerful
businessmen in Israel, with influence on a range of national issues.
conviction related to a number of incidents in which he acted with a conflict of
interest, and withheld from Bank Hapoalim’s board that he was part of a
partnership with other parties with which the bank had dealings.
instance, he withheld that he had a financial interest with another company
which Bank Hapoalim had a dispute with. Dankner used his power on both sides of
the dispute to set the compensation that the other company would pay the bank at
NIS 25m., raising questions about whether he kept the sum low so as not to
damage his interests with the other company.
In another instance, Dankner
moved the bank toward making a number of favorable decision in its relations
with a company from Holland, while concealing from the bank’s board that the
same company from Holland was giving him an NIS 5m. loan in his individual
Despite the agreement on the charges, there was no agreement on
the sentence, so the court still needs to make a ruling on whether Dankner will
go to prison.
The prosecution confirmed it will seek jail time, while
Dankner reportedly will try to convince the court that in light of the reduced
charges to which he pleaded guilty, the substantial fine he is paying is
The hearing for argument over sentencing is
scheduled for Sunday.
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