High-profile real estate developer charged with tax fraud, hiding NIS 80 million
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High-profile real estate developer charged with tax fraud, hiding NIS 80 million

Inbal Or indicted for deceiving clients, fooling bank manager with forged document showing she had millions in her account

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Inbal Or, a former residential real estate developer whose empire collapsed following her arrest on allegations of fraud and tax evasion, holds a press conference in Tel Aviv, July 29, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)
Inbal Or, a former residential real estate developer whose empire collapsed following her arrest on allegations of fraud and tax evasion, holds a press conference in Tel Aviv, July 29, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

Prosecutors filed an indictment Wednesday against high-profile real estate developer Inbal Or that included 15 charges of fraud and tax offenses as well as a claim she failed to report some NIS 81 million in income to authorities.

According to documents filed at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, Or was accused of defrauding clients as well as deceiving a bank manager, along with consumer protection law violations.

The crimes were allegedly committed during the years 2008-2016, when she was active in the real estate business.

Or, who insists she did nothing wrong, told Channel 13 news after the indictment was filed that “from my point of view, this is a happy day,” because it will give her the opportunity to prove her innocence.

“I have waited for this for three and a half years,” she said. “The truth will come out in court. This is my chance to put an end to this affair and this torture. The media will eat its hat for having discredited me all these years.”

Prosecutors charge that Or did not provide invoices or report to the Customs and VAT Department some of her business dealings in eight residential projects for which she organized purchase groups. In total, she is accused of not reporting NIS 81 million ($22.95 million) on which she should have paid NIS 11.5 million ($3.26 million) in tax.

Or’s primary company, Or City Real Estate, and her other businesses were liquidated in 2016 following her arrest in February that year after she failed to turn up for court hearings on suspicions of tax evasion and issuing fraudulent invoices.

Real estate developer Inbal Or at hearing in the Tel Aviv District Court on March 16, 2016. (Flash90)

Among the incidents listed in the indictment involved a purchasing group Or organized for a real-estate project on Chlenov Street in Tel Aviv. According to the indictment Or asked some of the clients to pass checks directly to the account of a company she controlled instead of transferring them to the group’s trustee for the purpose of buying the property planned for the project, all without informing the trustee.

The ploy allegedly brought NIS 2 million into the company’s bank account, but the trustee account was left without enough cash to buy the property and group members were required to supplement their original investment.

Prosecutors also allege that Or forged a bank document showing she had tens of millions of shekels in her account in order to convince a branch manager for Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot to honor checks from one of her companies even though doing so would overextend the company’s overdraft limit. A check she provided to cover the overdraft later bounced, the indictment said.

In other alleged offenses, Or purchased personal items such as clothes and jewelry worth NIS 900,000 and falsely put them on the books of a company she controlled. Another of her companies bought her a NIS 2.7 million apartment, papers showed.

Or is also accused of violating consumer protection laws by advertising apartments in construction projects for sale at attractive prices without specifying that clients were joining a purchasing group rather than directly buying an apartment.

The deputy director of finances in Or’s companies, Dror Giladi, was also named in some of charges, including the forged Bank Mizrahi document. A separate indictment was filed against Or’s assistant Tali Hayu.

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