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Hogeg freed to house arrest on $22 million bail in probe of sex crimes, crypto fraud

Businessman and Beitar Jerusalem soccer team owner is again questioned by police immediately after leaving detention

Moshe Hogeg (L)  is released to house arrest, December 14, 2021. (Screen grab/Ynet)
Moshe Hogeg (L) is released to house arrest, December 14, 2021. (Screen grab/Ynet)

Businessman Moshe Hogeg, who was arrested last month over alleged sex crimes and cryptocurrency fraud, was released to house arrest on Tuesday after nearly a month in detention.

In order to be released from detention, Hogeg was ordered to deposit bail of NIS 10 million in cash (approximately $3.1 million), while guaranteeing another NIS 20 million (approximately $6.2 million).

In addition, his wife and sister-in-law each had to guarantee another NIS 20 million, taking the total sum to NIS 70 million (approximately $22 million).

After his release, Hogeg immediately went in for further questioning for a number of hours at the police force’s serious crime unit.

Hogeg’s attorneys, Moshe Mazur and Amit Hadad, said in a statement that their client had not acted in a criminal manner.

“Moshe Hogg fully cooperated and gave his version [of events] to the investigation,” they said in a statement. “There is a big gap between the serious suspicions at the beginning of the affair and the facts that have become clearer as the days go by. We are convinced that at the end of the investigation and after its completion, it will become clear that there was no criminality in Mr. Hogeg’s actions.”

Moshe Hogeg visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on August 13, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)

A source close to the investigation told the Ynet news site that the suspicions against Hogeg were very serious and his release should not be interpreted as a sign of weakness in the case.

Hogeg, owner of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team, was arrested along with seven others on suspicion of involvement in alleged massive fraud.

He is also suspected of sex crimes, including trafficking and underage prostitution offenses, as well as carrying out indecent acts, sexual harassment, operating a location for the purpose of prostitution, invasion of privacy, bringing an individual into prostitution, and supplying drugs and alcohol to underage girls.

In one of the most serious accusations, a well-known model said that Hogeg sexually assaulted her years ago, when she was 17. Channel 13 cited the model as saying Hogeg entered her hotel room and tried to force himself on her, but she managed to fend him off.

Israeli television reported Sunday that although sources close to the investigation said there was “strong evidence” against Hogeg in the sex crimes part of the investigation, it would be difficult to charge him, as there is no complainant.

Additionally, reports said that the investigation into the alleged cryptocurrency fraud may not result in charges against Hogeg.

If Hogeg is ultimately indicted, the sources said the charge sheet could end up significantly smaller than the 21 suspected offenses — which include money laundering and theft — that he is being investigated over.

Hogeg has denied all the accusations against him.

Read more: Alleged crypto scams, sex offenses, unpaid bills: The claims against Moshe Hogeg

Hogeg is a tech entrepreneur and cryptocurrency trader.

In 2018, he bought the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team. In September of this year, he said he would sell the club, citing anti-Arab racist tendencies among its “ungrateful” fans.

In May, Hogeg was one of a group of businesspeople sued by former employees of an Israeli venture capital fund, who claim that three of Israel’s largest initial blockchain coin offerings of 2017 and 2018 were outright scams.

Hogeg has denied the allegations and said the lawsuit is an attempt by disgruntled employees to extort him.

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