A Tel Aviv district judge on Monday dealt a major blow to one of the most well known underworld figures in Israel, sentencing Netanya mob boss Aryeh “Rico” Shirazi to eight years in prison for money-laundering, fraud, threats, and tax crimes involving some NIS 25 million.
Shirazi’s attorney, Shlomo Ben-Aryeh said “this was an unprecedented penalty that I believe is not in keeping with the crimes they contend he committed,” and that he intends to appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court.
In addition to the financial crimes, Shirazi was sentenced for making threats against a former associate – a state witness who helped build the case against him.
Judge Oded Mudrick described in his ruling how Shirazi’s financial crimes took “a severe social toll,” and said they were carried out through “exploiting his [Shirazi’s] reputation as a dangerous man whose orders you follow in order to avoid being severely hurt by him.”
Mudrick said Shirazi was the boss in charge of a conspiracy to make money through paying out high-interest loans, using a series of legitimate businesses to launder the money.