(photo credit: )
New details emerged Tuesday about a police investigation into alleged bribery
and nepotism at the Meuhedet Health Fund, a day after a senior fund official was
arrested on suspicion of illegally arranging for jobs worth millions of shekels
to be awarded to a firm run by relatives.
The official, Yehuda Yekutiel
Eliash, the fund’s Jerusalem district manager, had his remand extended until
November 14 at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s court on Tuesday, following an
agreement reached by police and his attorneys.
During the remand hearing,
police representative Ch.-Supt. Lilit Tiber said, “The affair under
investigation is wide in scope, both in terms of the number of suspects involved
and the complexity of the issues.”
She added that “tens, if not hundreds
of millions of shekels were channeled within Meuhedet Health Fund, which insures
a million clients. We are only at the start of the investigation.”
second police representative, Ch.-Supt. Dani Yofe, said, “All the suspects are
According to police suspicions, Eliash arranged for his
brother- and sister-in-law, Yosef Senior and Merav Senior, to be awarded jobs on
behalf of the fund, without opening the jobs to a proper tender.
Senior runs the Or Yitzhak company, which is tasked with recruiting
telemarketing staff for the Meuhedet health fund, police said, and allegedly
received millions of shekels in an illegal manner.
Attorneys for Eliash
said he denies all criminal wrongdoing, adding that the Or Yitzhak company was
selected following an objective appraisal of its costs and services as compared
to its competitors.
The attorneys added that internal and external
auditors approved the contract between the health fund and Or Yitzhak, and that
there was no obligation to issue a tender for the jobs in question.
Judge Ita Nahman said in her decision on Tuesday, “In light of the case material
before me, I believe there is a reasonable suspicion that the suspect was
involved in the offenses attributed to him.”
The remands of Yosef and
Merav Senior were extended until November 14 and November 11
During the court hearings, police revealed that the
undercover investigation began with a secret request by the State Comptroller’s
Office a year ago On Monday, a police source told the Post that Eliash “arranged
tenders for them for years, and ordered work from them. At the same time he
bypassed legal tenders." Yosef Senior is also suspected by the Tax Authority of
tax evasion on a scale of millions of shekels.
The investigation is being
led by the National Fraud Unit and the Lahav 433 unit, as well as the Tax