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The Tel Aviv District Court approved a plea bargain on Tuesday struck by options
speculator Eli Aroch’s defense team, ending a decade-long case.
plea bargain, Aroch pleaded guilty to forging documents, and the court sentenced
him to a 12-month suspended prison term and a fine of NIS 50,000.
Aroch opened accounts at investment firm Ilanot Batucha, which later became Clal
Finance. When a dispute arose between Aroch and the firm, Aroch forged documents
that led the arbitrator overseeing the case, Judge Yaakov Meltz, to believe that
Clal Finance had caused Aroch to lose large sums of money by failing to
implement certain instructions he gave them in a timely manner.
forged many documents, and succeeded in tricking the professional bodies and the
arbitrator,” prosecutor Ruth Shavit told the court.
As a result, in 2006
Meltz ruled in favor of Aroch, and ordered the firm to compensate him with close
to NIS 100 million, a decision that sent shockwaves through Israel’s capital
In 2007, after Clal Finance requested that the
arbitration award be annulled, the police began to investigate Aroch. A year
later, the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment against Aroch
and his associate, David Shiloach, alleging Aroch had committed aggravated fraud
in connection with the payout.
Shiloach was convicted of fraud under a
2010 plea bargain and fined NIS 50,000.
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Aroch, however, attempted suicide
shortly after the indictment and was hospitalized.
He was later declared
unfit to stand trial, but in May 2011 the District Attorney’s Office filed
another indictment following new psychiatric reports that declared Aroch fit to
The prosecution told the court that it agreed to the plea
bargain in light of Aroch’s mental state, but emphasized that its decision
should not be construed as a precedent for future cases.
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