Hogeg kept list of prominent associates he trafficked girls to – report
Police source quoted saying names would cause ‘earthquake’ if published; investigators hope some may turn state witness
Police have reportedly discovered that businessman Moshe Hogeg kept a list of prominent individuals who allegedly had sex with, or assaulted, women and minors that he trafficked to them at his Tel Aviv apartment.
Hogeg is suspected of a number of sex crimes including trafficking and underage prostitution offenses, as well as multiple alleged financial crimes.
“If the list [of men] could be published, there would be an earthquake here,” a police source told Channel 12 news on Tuesday.
“These are people who are pretty familiar to the general public,” the source said.
“This is one of the most serious cases we have investigated in the last decade when it comes to trafficking in women and the exploitation of minors for sexual purposes. In some cases, some of those involved even threatened minors who refused to have sex,” the source told the broadcaster.
As well as trafficking and underage prostitution, Hogeg, the owner of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, is suspected of carrying out indecent acts, sexual harassment, operating a location for the purpose of prostitution, invasion of privacy and bringing an individual into prostitution. He is also suspected of supplying drugs and alcohol to underage girls.
Police say they have evidence women and teens were forced to have sex with Hogeg and his associates, Channel 12 reported.
Hogeg is believed to have filmed many of the sexual encounters, some without the knowledge of the women or teens involved. In addition to the video evidence, a number of women were said to have come forward to police to detail their experiences with the businessman.
According to Tuesday’s Channel 12 report, some of the men on Hogeg’s list of associates who had sexual encounters with the women and teens will be questioned, some of them under caution.
The report said that while police have already signed state witness agreements with two people, they are hoping for a third. One of the unnamed individuals who has already signed an agreement has said that although he admitted to having sex at Hogeg’s apartment, he was unaware that his partner was a minor, the report said.
Police believe that some of the alleged crimes were carried out at a luxury apartment owned by Hogeg in Tel Aviv’s exclusive Park Tzameret neighborhood.
Hogeg, who has denied all the accusations against him, allegedly provided the women and minors to business associates at the apartment, as part of his dealings with them.
The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday extended Hogeg’s detention for a further seven days. If prosecutors do not announce an intention to charge him by December 14, he will be released to house arrest.
However, in order for him to be released from formal detention, the court ruled Tuesday, he will need 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 will each have to guarantee another NIS 20 million, taking the total sum to NIS 70 million (approximately $22 million).
Hogeg’s attorneys, Amit Hadad and Moshe Mazor, said their client maintained his innocence.
“We welcome the police decision to release him at the end of this period. Hogeg continues to cooperate with his investigators and believes in, and is sure of, his innocence,” they said in a statement.
Hogeg was arrested last month. According to court documents, he is suspected of 21 offenses, including money laundering, theft, and fraud, as well as the sex crimes. He has been remanded in custody since his arrest.
Last month, footage Hogeg provided to investigators reportedly implicated him in the sexual assault of a minor. According to a Channel 13 news report, Hogeg presented to police videos of his sexual encounters with a model, as part of an effort to dispute the allegations of sexual assault against him.
However, the videos also featured an underage girl who was filmed without her knowledge during a sexual act, exposing him to additional charges, the television report said.
In addition, Channel 13 aired detailed testimony by a former employee of a modeling agency about the alleged sexual assault carried out by Hogeg against the model, as well as detailing the financial relationships he had with others.
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, 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.