Tel Aviv police on Tuesday arrested a man who became famous after appearing on a television show introducing aspiring inventors to investors, on suspicion of aggravated fraud.
Joseph Schneider, founder of the Israel Center for Inventors, appeared on the Sharks TV show and is suspected of pocketing funds he received from inventors, which were intended to further their initiatives.
Police received dozens of complaints against Schneider in recent months by disgruntled inventors, whom he promised that he would develop their patents in exchange for a fee.
Schneider, a Bnei Brak resident and father of eight, told clients that the development of their products would take place in China, and charged tens of thousands of shekels to take on their projects. But his clients became impatient after months went by with no results, and became suspicious when he showed them receipts from China that turned out to be forged.
According to police, Schneider defrauded his victims of millions of shekels in total. Officers raided his offices in Bnei Brak on Tuesday morning, seizing computers and documents.