'Charge former Meuhedet officials with fraud'

Attorney Guy-Ron, senior Meuhedet Health Fund officials are suspected of fraud, corruption, police say.

Meuhedet 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Meuhedet 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Evidence exists to charge former senior officials from the Meuhedet Health Fund with corruption, police said following the completion of an extensive investigation.
Police recommended that the former head of the Bar Association, attorney Yuri Guy- Ron, also be charged in connection with the affair.
Guy-Ron, who owns a marketing company together with his wife, is suspected of receiving hundreds of thousands of shekels from Meuhedet without providing a service in return.
“We found evidence that Mr. Guy-Ron committed offenses [while head of the Bar Association] relating to corruption, conspiracy to commit a crime and aggravated fraud,” police said in an official statement.
The funds were allegedly sent to Guy- Ron’s company by Yehuda Aliash, former deputy marketing director of the Meuhedet Health Fund.
“The two men are friends. The transfer of large funds was not reciprocated by any service,” a police source close to the investigation told The Jerusalem Post.
Responding to the allegations, Guy-Ron told Channel 2 News, “I received the news with surprise and shock. I can’t understand the police’s recommendation. The decision will rest with the prosecution, and I am convinced that it will find that I did not commit any offense.”
The National Fraud Unit launched its inquiry following a report on Meuhedet by the state comptroller, who raised concern over major irregularities.
Aliash is suspected of diverting tens of millions of shekels from the advertising budgets toward marketing companies that employed his associates and relatives.
He is also suspected of fraud, money laundering and paying bribes.
“A basis of evidence exists to back up these suspicions,” a police spokesman said on Tuesday.
Another suspect in the investigation is former health fund director-general Uzi Salant, whom police suspect of illegally attempting to recruit new members to the fund. Police told state prosecutors on Tuesday that he, too, should be charged.
Meuhedet spokeswoman Ahuva Liff declined to comment, noting that the former health fund officials involved had left almost a year ago and had been replaced by new executives who had nothing to do with the case. Those accused of crimes have individual lawyers and no longer have any connection with Meuhedet.
Judy Siegel contributed to this report.