Former police commissioner Rafi Peled, who served in that position 1993-1994, was convicted Wednesday of fraud and breach of trust, bringing to an end a seven-year trial.
Peled, along with business partner Arie Givony, who was also convicted, was found guilty of siphoning over NIS 86 million ($23 million) from public corporations and using some of the money for his personal gain. Peled claimed he knew money was being transferred between his group’s companies, but was not aware it was being taken out of the group.
Two other businessmen, David Havi and Tal Yagerman, were also convicted.
“Peled did not steal and did not personally touch funds, but failed in fulfilling his responsibility as a controlling shareholder, allowing Yagerman to do with the company as he pleased,” read the court ruling. “[He] heard the warnings and chose to ignore them.”
The Peled-Givony case was exposed after the group collapsed in August 2002, leaving it NIS 800 million in debt. The Israel Securities Authority began investigating the companies and their lack of relevant financial statements, as police suspected that Peled and his partners stole tens of millions of shekels from the public companies.
Peled’s offense carries a penalty of three years in prison.