Ramat Gan's business district..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Beersheba District Court on Tuesday sentenced Eitan Saror to eight years in prison for swindling Gush Katif evacuees out of NIS 8,910,000.
He was also ordered to pay more than NIS 2 million in fines.
Saror was convicted on January 29 of 14 fraud charges corresponding to 14 victims.
His scheme, which he operated from October 2005 to August 2007, involved fraudulently claiming to the evacuees that he would use their money to invest in diamonds and they would receive hefty profits as he had received, the court said.
Saror periodically paid his investors “interest” from fictional transactions so that they would not grow suspicious and would invest additional funds with him.
But he never put their funds in diamonds, and little by little lost a substantial portion of the money, estimated between NIS 4 million and NIS 5m., until he could no longer maintain the fictional investment scheme.
The fraud was “sophisticated, with the broadest possible scope and against a very large number of victims, who in their innocence deposited funds with him... for many of whom the funds were a majority of their savings,” and much of which was their compensation funds from the state for being evacuated from Gush Katif in 2005, the court said.
Saror may have targeted his victims because he knew they were receiving sizable lump sum compensation payments which they might be looking to invest.
An indictment against him was filed in 2010, struck from the record and then refiled in 2011.
The court rejected Saror’s request for leniency based on the lengthy time that has passed since the scheme, saying his covering of his tracks and extended fighting of the case were what delayed issues.
The court denied his request for a stay of the sentence, possibly to appeal, and gave him until March 15 to organize his affairs and present himself at Dekel Prison in Beersheba.
The court ordered a ban on foreign travel for Saror and confiscation of his passport.