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Former police chief sentenced to community service

Rafi Peled, who was the country’s top cop in the early nineties, was convicted of breach of trust last year

Rafi Peled (photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef/Flash90)
Rafi Peled (photo credit: Yehoshua Yosef/Flash90)

The Tel Aviv Regional Court on Thursday sentenced former Israel Police commissioner Rafi Peled to six months’ community service, a two-year suspended jail sentence, and a NIS 100,000 ($28,000) fine for his part in a multi-million-shekel business fraud.

Peled, who served as Israel’s top cop 1993-94, was convicted in December 2012 of fraud and breach of trust at the end of a seven-year trial over the collapse of the Peled-Givony group of companies, which left NIS 800 million in debts.

Peled’s business partner, Arie Givony, was found guilty of siphoning over NIS 86 million ($23 million) from public corporations and using some of the money for his personal gain. Givony was sentenced to two years in prison.

Two other businessmen, David Havi and Tal Yagerman, were also convicted. Havi was given a year in prison while Yagerman was sentenced to four years behind bars.

Peled claimed he knew money was being transferred among the group’s companies, but was not aware it was being taken out of the group.

“Peled did not steal and did not personally touch funds, but failed to fulfill his responsibility as a controlling shareholder, allowing Yagerman to do with the company as he pleased,” read the December court ruling. “[He] heard the warnings and chose to ignore them.”

The Peled-Givony case was exposed after the group collapsed in August 2002. 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.

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