Former Netanyahu chief of staff questioned by police in fraud probe

US-born Ari Harow on house arrest amid ongoing investigation into alleged improprieties.

Handcuffs [Illustrative] (photo credit: INIMAGE)
Handcuffs [Illustrative]
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
The former senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned under caution this week on suspicions of breach of trust and fraud was named Wednesday as Ari Harow, Netanyahu’s former chief of staff.
He was questioned this week by police investigators on a “range of offenses” allegedly carried out during his time in office, police said.
After being interrogated by officials on Monday, Harow was released on house arrest for five days and ordered to adhere to stringent financial restrictions pending the ongoing investigation, which may implicate others working in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Harow, who was born in Los Angeles in 1973 and made aliya with his family in 1985, was appointed chief of staff at the Prime Minister’s Office last year, serving in the position for roughly one year before leaving to run Netanyahu’s successful reelection campaign.
A former IDF soldier, Harow has served Netanyahu in different capacities for the past 15 years, including as a foreign affairs adviser and scheduler.
During a hiatus in 2010, he founded an international government and NGO advisement company called 3H Global.
Upon being named chief of staff last year, Harow reportedly handed the company over to his brother to avert a conflict of interest.
Harow is not the first Netanyahu adviser probed for breach of trust and fraud.
Just two months ago, his parliamentary adviser, Perach Lerner, was suspended for four months following an investigation surrounding allegations that she used her influence to benefit her husband, who runs a PR agency representing numerous Likud members and the free daily Israel Hayom, owned by US billionaire and ardent Netanyahu supporter, Sheldon Adelson.