The Tel Aviv District Prosecution Office filed a harsh indictment on Monday
against celebrity singer Margalit Tsanani and crime boss Michael
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Tsanani and Hazan are both charged with conspiring to commit a
crime and acting jointly to extort Tsanani’s talent manager, Assaf
The indictment also mentions the role of southern crime kingpin
Shalom Domrani, whom police arrested and detained in connection with the affair,
but who was released to house arrest on Sunday after police failed to convince
state prosecutors there was enough evidence to convict him.
is a judge in the TV song contest program Kohav Nolad (A Star is Born), also
stands accused of using her connections and her role on that show to give
underworld figures a foothold in the entertainment industry.
the indictment, in the course of her work on Kohav Nolad in 2009, Tsanani became
acquainted with singer Omer Adam and his father. As a result of that connection,
Atadegi began to act as Adam’s manager, and as part of the deal Atadegi was to
give Tsanani half the money he earned from representing Adam.
the start of 2010, a dispute arose over how revenues from Adam should be shared
between Atadegi and Tsanani.
Atadegi told Tsanani he did not want to
represent her any more, and offered to buy out her share of Adam’s
Tsanani, however, refused.
The two then hired an
arbitrator to settle the dispute, but Atadegi refused to accept an agreement to
give Tsanani 15 percent of the money he earned from Adam.
Tsanani asked Yaron Ilan, a TV presenter, to arrange a meeting with southern
crime kingpin Shalom Domrani, so he could help her reach an agreement with
Atadegi. That meeting took place, the indictment states.
Tsanani also started to suspect Atadegi of hiding details of revenue he received
from Adam, and of refusing to give her close friends and the son Assaf Lavi-
Tsanani free tickets to performances by Adam.
At that stage, Tsanani
decided to involve Michael Hazan, allegedly a member of the Amir Mullner crime
family and, according to the indictment, “a man whom she knew inspired fear in
those around him with his menacing appearance and behavior. A man who ‘broke
teeth’ for a living.”
Tsanani used Hazan to threaten and intimidate
Atadegi, to force him to accede to their demands.
The indictment charges
that Tsanani went to the Shuk Hashuna (neighborhood market) in Ramat Gan where
Hazan worked in order to tell him about her dispute with Atadegi.
intimidate Atadegi, Tsanani also let him know she and her son Assaf were close
friends of Hazan.
From April through July 2011, Hazan threatened Atadegi
with the full knowledge of Tsanani, and told him to “do favors” for Assaf by
giving him free tickets for Adam’s performances.
Hazan threatened Atadegi
with physical violence if he refused to comply.
In one wiretapped
telephone conversation, Tsanani told Atadegi to beware of Hazan.
you’re careful and respect him, nothing will happen to you,” she told
In another intercepted phone call made from Hazan’s home, Tsanani
told Atadegi that he had “disrespected” Hazan, and made the crime boss
Atadegi was so frightened that he gave Hazan tickets to Omer
Adam performances worth thousands of shekels, the indictment claims.
return for Hazan’s extorting Atadegi, Tsanani used her role as a judge on Kohav
Nolad to do favors for Hazan and his associates in the criminal underworld,
including crime boss Shalom Domrani.
In a live broadcast of the show
during June, Tsanani scored one contestant according to an SMS Hazan sent
Tsanani also mentioned the name of Sagiv Tayari, one of crime boss
Amir Mullner’s agents, and a close relative of Kohav Nolad contestant Liron
Ramati, live on the show after a performance by Ramati.
In July, Tsanani
met with Domrani at Hazan’s request.
During that meeting, Domrani
promised that he would make Atadegi “shake so hard with fear that he wouldn’t
move a meter.”
The crime boss asked Tsanani to covertly help set him up
as a talent manager, using Hazan as a front. According to the plan Domrani
proposed, Tsanani would recruit Kohav Nolad contestants for a new talent
management business fronted by Hazan.
Domrani said he would “buy off” the
contestants from the agreements they had to sign when they took part in the TV
show. Every singer who participates in Kohav Nolad is asked to sign a two-year
contract with the Teddy Productions talent management company.
told Domrani and Hazan that she would not be able to assist openly, but agreed
to help from the sidelines because of her proximity to the
Domrani also said he could help promote the plan using “his
people” in the music industry, including TV presenter Yaron Ilan and radio
personality Eli “Eliko” Cohen of the Lev Hamedina station.
her arrest, Tsanani spoke with Ramati after he won third place on Kohav Nolad,
and coached him on how to leave his existing talent management contract with
Teddy Productions, suggesting he sign with Domrani’s company instead.
Tel Aviv District Court also ruled on Monday to extend Tsanani’s remand in the
Neve Tirza women’s prison for four more days, pending a report by the probation
service regarding whether she can be released to house arrest.
also remain in custody pending another hearing.
Judge Zvi Gurfinkel
referred to the singer’s “extreme emotional condition” in court as he asked
state prosecutors to expedite the report.
State prosecutor Guy Goren told
the court that while Tsanani did not pose any specific threat to the public, she
is accused of having close connections with senior underworld
Tsanani will appear again in court on Thursday and is expected
to be released to house arrest.
Moments after the hearing, Tsanani’s
defense attorney Sassy Gez said the singer was in deep shock after hearing the
indictment, and said that she should have been released to house arrest because
the police investigation is now over.
“Does anyone really believe that
she is dangerous? If you read the indictment carefully, you will understand that
it won’t lead to a criminal conviction,” Gez told Israel Radio.
me when I tell you she’s going home after the hearing on
Meanwhile, the two companies behind Kohav Nolad, Keshet and
Teddy Productions, said in a statement that the “Margol Affair” had not actually
harmed the show.
“All this season’s contestants are represented by, and
have signed with, Teddy Productions for a long period,” Keshet said.