State to try former Bank Hapoalim chairman

Dan Dankner will be charged for suspected offenses of bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering in purchase of Turkish bank.

Dan Dankner 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Dan Dankner 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The State Attorney’s Office announced on Monday its decision, subject to a hearing, to prosecute former chairman of Bank Hapoalim Dan Dankner for suspected offenses of bribery, corruption, fraud and breach of trust in a corporation, money laundering and harming proper banking practices.
State Prosecutor Moshe Lador also announced Dankner’s former secretary, Hagit Malka, will also be prosecuted on suspicion of money laundering.
Allegations against Dankner center around alleged misconduct during Bank Hapoalim’s purchase of the Turkish BankPozitif during 2005-2008.
Dankner is alleged to have taken an active role in Bank Hapoalim’s acquisition of BankPozitif, a Turkish bank owned by Halit Cingillioglu.
That transaction was carried out in partnership with RP Capital, an investment group established in 2005 and headed by Israeli Rafael Berber, formerly of Merrill Lynch.
According to Globes, Bank Hapoalim bought 57.55 percent of BankPozitif and RP Capital acquired 7.45%.
As Bank Hapoalim chairman, Danker was responsible for managing negotiations between Bank Hapoalim and RP Capital, after which RP Capital received $25 million in compensation.
Throughout the transaction, Dankner is alleged to have concealed from Bank Hapoalim officials a business relationship that the RP Group had with Elran Investments and its subsidiary, Elran Real Estate, both of which are controlled by Dankner’s family. At the time, the Elran Group was experiencing financial difficulties.
Dankner is also alleged to have received a 5m. euro loan in 2008 from the Dutch DHB Bank, which is also owned by Cingillioglu.
“Dankner’s loan was received at the height of the global credit crisis, when Dankner and his family could not get a loan from any bank because of the economic situation and because of Elran Group’s economic situation,” said the State Attorney’s Office in a statement on Monday.
While DHB Bank was approving Dankner’s loan application, Dankner approved a dividend to BankPozitif, an act that directly benefited Cingillioglu.

Also at that time, Bank Hapoalim’s Board of Directors, of which Dankner was chairman, approved the purchase of 4.82% of BankPozitif shares from Cingillioglu, who as a result received a sum of around $15m.
Dankner is alleged to have received bribes from Cingillioglu in connection with these matters.
Further, in order to receive the loan from DHB Bank, the State Attorney’s Office claim that Dankner presented a false statement of his personal wealth in a document he had signed declaring that he had 50m. euro of equity.
Dankner is further alleged to have laundered that loan money, rather than reporting it, by making several property transactions.