Former tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Stas Meseznikov, a former tourism minister and Yisrael Beytenu MK, began a 15-month prison sentence on Sunday following a plea-bargain agreement with the state stemming from one of the largest corruption probes in the country’s history.
Meseznikov was indicted in October at Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court and agreed to a plea bargain in which he admitted to fraud and breach of trust during his term as minister.
Under the terms of the plea bargain, the State Attorney’s Office also ordered Meseznikov to pay a NIS 70,000 fine in restitution.
According to the indictment, Meseznikov had several conflicts of interest when he gave approximately NIS 1 million
in financial support to the Eilat student festival in 2010. At the same time, he recommended that Yuliah Roth, with whom he was in an intimate relationship, be employed by the festival.
Meseznikov failed to disclose his relationship with Roth to the Tourism Ministry, or that she had been employed by the festival organizers on his recommendation.
“Meseznikov exploited his senior public office and his elevated status in order to arrange a monetary income for Roth, thereby committing actions involving a breach of trust and harming the public,” said the indictment.
In August of this year, ten other individuals
connected to what has become known as “Case 242,” were indicted for various offenses, including former deputy interior minister Faina Kirschenbaum
, who was charged with bribery, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and tax offenses.
Kirschenbaum pleaded not guilty last month.