Did Stormy Daniels cause Benny Gantz's cyber company to close shop?

The Fifth Dimension billed itself as “the technology leader in law enforcement investigation and analysis solutions.”

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December 16, 2018 16:02
2 minute read.
Did Stormy Daniels cause Benny Gantz's cyber company to close shop?

The book "Full Disclosure" by Stormy Daniels is seen for sale in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 2, 2018. . (photo credit: SHANNON STAPLETON / REUTERS)

 
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The cybersecurity company of presumed prime ministerial candidate Benny Gantz closed down on Friday, but sources connected to the company told The Jerusalem Post that the start-up’s failure had more to do with US President Donald Trump, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and porn star Stormy Daniels than Gantz.

The Fifth Dimension billed itself as “the technology leader in law enforcement investigation and analysis solutions,” and boasted the company’s unified investigation platform would utilize advanced analytics to assist police analysts and investigators to solve more cases faster.

After spending some NIS 250 million over four years, The Fifth Dimension will officially close at the end of the year. Company officials denied a report that workers who came to its offices at Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Center on Friday were surprised to find the doors locked.

“After successfully completing the development of our investigation platform that is based on artificial intelligence and months of considering merging and selling the company, it will cease to operate, due to investment difficulties that have nothing to do with the company,” CEO Doron Cohen said in a statement.

Cohen promised that the workers would receive all monies owing to them, and that the company’s product would still be sold.

Ram Ben-Barak, an advisory board member who left the company a year ago, said it was “a private company, breaking up for reasons that have nothing to do with management” in general and in particular Gantz, who chaired its board. “Like many start-ups we had no choice but to break up. Do you know how many start-ups close every year?”

Ben-Barak blamed the break-up on “problems with investors in the US.” He confirmed a report in the economic newspaper Globes that the company had lost money needed to operate that had been coming from Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.


Vekselberg lost an estimated $2 billion in cash and stocks that have been frozen or tied up in banks as a result of sanctions imposed by the US government as part of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s election-meddling probe. The questioning in May of Vekselberg came after he had built close ties with disgraced former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

The Vekselberg probe is investigating the ties of companies connected to him and his family members to the alleged hush money Cohen paid to Daniels to keep silent about the affair she had with Trump.

Vekselberg is a former business partner of billionaire Len Blavatnik, who has testified in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal investigations. At Netanyahu’s urging, a company partially owned by Blavatnik purchased a controlling share in Channel 10 from Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who provided cigars, pink champagne and jewelry for many years to Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

Gantz had been very proud of The Fifth Dimension. His associates said he did not want to comment on the company’s closure.

“There is no connection to politics, and Benny considering going into politics,” a source close to him said. “To say otherwise is purely fake news.”

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