(photo credit: ORCITY.CO.IL)
The Tax Authority on Monday secured a hold on all private assets belonging to real-estate magnate Inbal Or, who is at the center of a massive fraud case.
The freeze applies to 12 properties belonging to Or, including apartments, plots of land and deeds or shared deeds on other homes. The authority also seized two cars belonging to Or.
A spokesman for the authority said it had requested a judge last week to approve the order, which also applies to all of Or’s immediate family.
The authority said the move was taken due to concern that she would try to liquidate her assets to avoid the possibility of them being confiscated by the state in the event of her conviction.
The order does not apply to any assets belonging to her Or City Real Estate company or others in which she is a shareholder.
It also does not apply to the 16 companies owned by the Inbal Or Group.
The investigation against Or, which deals with allegations of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering worth millions, was opened several months ago by the Tax Authority. Or is suspected of having defrauded buyers and of selling apartments to multiple buyers. She was arrested in February and released to house arrest, though she was first questioned under caution by police only last week.
The chief financial officer of the Inbal Or Group of real-estate development companies, Dror Giladi, also was arrested by the authority in February, on suspicion that he helped Or conceal tens of millions of shekels through the use of falsified invoices.
Or was expected to appear for police questioning on Monday and hand over materials that allegedly showed wrongdoing on the part of her coworkers, but she did not show up at the Tel Aviv headquarters of the police antifraud unit. Officers then went to her hotel to search for her, but she said she was not feeling well, and the appointment was postponed.
Monday’s appointment was set after Or and her attorney shifted tactics in their defense, claiming that there was fraud committed by the company but that it was carried out by senior employees and that Or was not involved and unaware of what was taking place.
The allegations were made in a letter sent to police over the weekend by Or’s attorney, Adi Carmel, in which he stated that Or received information from an anonymous source that proved wrongdoing by her coworkers. Or has stated that she learned of the alleged embezzlement by the employees only after she was questioned by police under caution for several hours last Wednesday.
Or recently hired Carmeli to replace Reuven Bilet after he became the 10th attorney to leave Or’s service in recent weeks. Or has denied the allegations against her.