'Criminal network' that took over businesses arrested

By
February 21, 2011 17:23

Dozens of suspects from around the country were arrested on Monday on suspicion of belonging to a well organized criminal network which forcefully took over struggling businesses and made hundreds of millions of shekels from fictitious tax receipts.

The arrests come at the end of an undercover investigation led by the Lahav 433 Unit, the Tax Authority and Customs.

Police said the suspects made contact with business owners facing bankruptcy and offered them high interest loans on the grey market.

The loans were allegedly provided by straw companies, which then produced tax receipts for more than double the amount of the loan, listing goods and services that were never provided, police added.

When business owners were unable to pay back the loans, debtors would forcefully take over businesses, issue additional fake receipts, and withdraw cash from the business's bank account, police suspect.


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