Fifteen years after he was first indicted, the Tel Aviv District Court sentenced meat and poultry wholesaler Gavriel Ravi Cohen to eight years in prison and fined him NIS 1 million on Tuesday, after finding him guilty of forging millions of shekels worth of invoices in the 1990s and 2000s.
According to the indictment, Cohen falsified invoices totaling around NIS 46 million and made fictitious bookkeeping entries and Tax Authority returns worth around NIS 57 million.
The State Attorney's Office said Wednesday that the original indictment against Cohen was served in the Haifa Magistrate's Court in 1997, but the defendant managed to convince doctors he was suffering from a serious psychiatric complaint. Cohen was hospitalized in a psychiatric facility, and the legal proceedings against him dropped.
Cohen was later released from hospital, and by 2004, the authorities suspected he had started to forge invoices again. The Tel Aviv District Attorney refiled the original indictment in the Tel Aviv District Court, and served a new indictment with additional charges in the Haifa Magistrate's Court.