Gregory Lerner arrested in Paraguay

Lerner fled Israel following a conviction for embezzlement and money laundering.

By YIGAL GRAYEFF
March 27, 2006 18:34
1 minute read.
Gregory Lerner arrested in Paraguay

gergory lerner 298.88. (photo credit: Channel 10)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Gregory Lerner, who had already served six years in prison for fraud, has been arrested in Paraguay after fleeing from Israel two weeks ago following a second conviction for embezzlement, forgery and money-laundering, the police said on Monday. Investigators at the Serious and International Crimes Unit traced Lerner (Zvi Ben-Ari) to South America after receiving intelligence information. In cooperation with the Israel Police's representative in the region, the local authorities tracked Lerner to a hotel in the Paraguayan capital, Asunci n. He is believed to have escaped from Israel under an assumed identity. According to Asunci n reports, Lerner was drunk when apprehended and had to be hauled off to hospital before being formally arrested. Cash and a forged passport were found in his hotel room. Israel is to seek Lerner's extradition. However, since there is no extradition treaty with Paraguay, it is unclear how long this process could take. About a month ago Lerner was convicted of cheating two businessmen out of $1 million and then laundering the money by depositing it in bank accounts, registered in the names of his friends, but which he controlled. Under a plea bargain, Lerner had confessed to the crimes in return for the state agreeing to drop charges of obstruction of justice. He also agreed to serve time in jail, although the sides hadn't settled on just how long. As part of the arrangement, Lerner was to hand over money he had embezzled. The court had agreed to hold the next hearing in May to give him time to come up with the money. Lerner, 54, immigrated in 1990 and soon after his arrival, Russian authorities sent Israel Police information and evidence regarding his criminal activities. He was arrested in 1997 on suspicion of having been sent here by the Russian mafia to launder their money and he was also suspected of commissioning several murders. The following year, Lerner was sentenced to six years in jail for fraud against Russian banks. Police are still waiting for the extradition of Moshe Ben-Ivgi from Argentina, which also has no treaty with Israel. Ben-Ivgi was arrested in Buenos Aires in October 2004 after skipping the country during a furlough from prison in May that year. Ben-Ivgi and an accomplice were convicted of murdering taxi driver Derek Roth in 1994.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN