eli reifman emblaze 248 88.
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced on Sunday Eli Reifman, the co-founder and
former chairman of Emblaze (LSE:BLZ.L), to six years imprisonment for fraud,
forgery and using forged documents.
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Reifman was also ordered to pay
compensation of $6.3 million to the complainants.
Despite his success as
a businessman, Reifman “committed crimes against innocent people,” Judge Rozen
Reifman used his reputation as an able businessman to commit acts
of deception, the judge added.
According to the indictment, filed in
2009, Reifman used forged documents in two separate cases claiming he owned
Emblaze shares to fraudulently obtain $6.3 million in loans from two foreign
investment capital funds.
On one occasion, Reifman forged a document to
deceive Winton Capital Holdings Ltd. into believing he owned nine million
Prosecution witness Yitzhak Asher of Double U Trading
Fund testified that his company loaned Reifman $3 million as a result of the
In contrast to this large-scale fraud, Judge Rozen
noted that the 41-year-old Reifman had a clean record, and a successful past as
a businessman and philanthropist.
The former head of production at the
IDF’s Training Development Center, Reifman has been lauded in the international
press as a dotcom visionary.
In 1994, he co-founded Emblaze, formerly GEO
Interactive Media, and four years later the company was floated on the London
However, Reifman’s fraudulent activities allegedly
resulted in two attempts on his life. In 2009, a motorcyclist fired two shots at
Reifman as he left Emblaze’s offices and in 2010 more shots were fired at the
businessman’s Kadima home.
In sentencing Reifman on Sunday, Judge Rozen
said that the businessman’s extensive philanthropic activities were a mitigating
factor in his sentence.
Among the defense witnesses brought by Reifman’s
attorneys was Amos Gever, Haifa University’s vice president of external
relations, who said that Reifman was a “humble” man who had donated $500,000 to
Reifman contributed tens of million of shekels to various
causes and invested considerable time in community activities, including
lecturing to students on a pro-bono basis.
Reifman also contributed tens
of thousands of dollars to education in the periphery and to various other
“This information must and should stand in favor of the
defendant on this day of sentencing,” Judge Rozen noted.Jerusalem Post
staff contributed to this report.