(photo credit: WWW.ARIHAROW.COM)
The Israel Police announced on Thursday that it has opened an investigation against former Netanyahu chief of staff and Likud fund-raiser Ari Harow on suspicion of a conflict of interest while he was working in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The police said the case is not related to the ongoing corruption investigation of the prime minister.
Harow was questioned at the Lahav 433 special investigations unit. Police said they are probing Harow for suspected breach of trust, fraud, bribery, tax evasion, money laundering and falsifying corporate documents, regarding a company that Harow owned and sold once he assumed his job in the PMO.
In a statement on Thursday, Lahav 433 said it suspects Harow of seeking to promote his company while still owning it and allegedly misrepresenting his disconnection from it. A lawyer, whose name is under gag order, is also being investigated in connection with the case.
Harow sold his government relations firm, 3H Global, when he returned to Netanyahu’s office as his chief of staff in 2014. Harow was required to sell the company due to a possible conflict of interest. However, Harow did not receive the full sum to which he was entitled, thus arousing suspicions of a fictitious sale.
In July, police questioned Harow for 14 hours regarding an ongoing Netanyahu corruption investigation and released him to house arrest.
Harow, who holds dual US-Israel citizenship, was born in Los Angeles in 1973 and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1985. He served Netanyahu in different capacities for the past 15 years before he was appointed chief of staff at the Prime Minister’s Office in 2014. He served in the position for roughly one year before leaving to run Netanyahu’s successful reelection campaign.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this article.