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The man at the center of a criminal investigation that could bring down Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Morris (Moshe) Talansky, is a 75-year-old millionaire financier from Long Island, New York.
Talansky is an Orthodox Jew who has engaged in extensive philanthropy in Israel, and owns an apartment in Jerusalem.
Both he and Olmert jointly founded the New Jerusalem Fund, a charity aimed at raising money for projects in the capital. The charity has offices both in Jerusalem and New York.
The New Jerusalem Fund's Web site has mysteriously gone off-line in recent days.
In the US, Talansky has contributed funds to high-profile politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former US president Bill Clinton.
Talansky is CEO of the Globes Resources Group investment firm. The company's address is registered to his Long Island home.
Talansky is listed as one of a number of investors who launched a July 2007 lawsuit in the New York Federal District Court in Manhattan against the Israeli satellite company ImageSat, which sells images from space to countries around the world.
ImageSat reportedly turned down a lucrative sale of satellite imagery to a number of countries, including Venezuela, allegedly due to that country's close ties with Iran, resulting in a decision by its investors - including Talansky - to sue the company.
A number of Israeli investors in ImageSat have also taken part in the lawsuit.