Alleged TA crime figure Meir Abergil returns home

Following his extradition by the US in January, Abergil was released after agreeing to a plea bargain with the California district attorney.

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Alleged Tel Aviv organized crime figure Meir Abergil landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday as a free man after being extradited in January to the US together with his brother Itzik on a host of charges.
Abergil was arrested in August 2008 together with his brother on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Margarita Lautin, who was gunned down in front of her family during a botched underworld assassination attempt on a Bat Yam beach a month earlier.
On August 26, 2008, Yitzhak and Meir Abergil, along with Moshe Malul and Israel Ozifa, were brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court for their alleged role in the killing of Israeli drug dealer Sami Atias in Encino, California, in August 2003, as a revenge for his allegedly having stolen money from them.
They were remanded in custody together with Sason Barashi as a result of a request by law enforcement in the United States for their extradition. They faced a 77-page, 32-count federal indictment that alleged murder, massive embezzlement, money laundering, racketeering and running a large Los Angeles-based Ecstasy ring.
The inquiry into the case had lasted for six years, involving the FBI, tax authorities and law enforcement officials in more than 10 countries in America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Meir Abergil denied all the charges.
He was released after agreeing to a plea bargain with the California district attorney in which he confessed to extortion of over a million dollars from another mob figure, and the remainder of the charges against him were dropped.
“It’s shameful for the State of Israel that I was extradited,” he said upon landing, according to Channel 10 news.
His brother Itzik is still charged with involvement in the murder of the Israeli drug dealer in Los Angeles.
Upon landing in Israel, Abergil was greeted by relatives, as well as his attorneys Ayelet Afik Hakmon and Avi Amirm.
“The Americans understood that if they brought this case to trial, it would have nothing in it, while Meir has maintained his innocence since day one,” Hakmon said, according to Ynet.
“The last remaining charge was extortion, but without an extortion victim.
The plea bargain was actually a way to get out of this affair honorably,” she said.