Israeli businessman Patrick Aloni is suspected of scamming an American company out of $24 million, according to a television report on Tuesday.
The Israeli businessman promised to provide disposable rubber gloves to MSC Industry Supply Co. at a discounted price, a commodity in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Channel 12.
According to the Israel Police’s Tel Aviv District fraud division, Aloni pledged to supply 200,000 cartons of nitrile gloves from a factory in Vietnam to MSC. Aloni directed MSC to transfer the full transaction sum to the bank account of a Canadian company in September 2020.
After MSC transferred Aloni around $24 million, the company realized they had fallen victim to a scam. They contacted the Weizman Yaar Business Intelligence Office, which launched an investigation.
Weizman Yaar’s investigations discovered that the factory in Vietnam knew nothing about Patrick Aloni, or the CPI company he claimed to own. They also discovered that no purchase of gloves was made for Aloni or MSC, and that the custom numbers Aloni provided for the company were fictitious.
The company forwarded Weizman Yaar’s findings to the Israeli police, which opened its own investigation. Shortly after, Aloni tried to leave the country and was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport.
Aloni originally tried to prevent the publication of his name, but the court revoked the gag order at the request of Channel 12.
According to his arrest warrant, Aloni is suspected of receiving goods fraudulently under aggravated circumstances, tax offenses, and money laundering. During a search of Aloni’s home, the police uncovered a safe which contained hundreds of thousands of dollars.
תיעוד שביצעה המשטרה מחיפוש בביתו של איש העסקים פטריק אלוני בסביון – דלף. הסרטון צולם כחלק מהחקירה כדי לתעד את ריקון הכספת בביתו כשהם מוציאים ממנה מאות אלפי דולרים. אלוני נעצר ביום חמישי בנתב"ג, בחשד שביצע עוקץ בהיקף של מיליוני דולרים@moyshis pic.twitter.com/cTI4BrNtTg
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) March 13, 2021
His defense attorneys, Amos Algali and Michael Weizmann, allege that these accusations are the product of a “business dispute” with “false allegations,” according to Ynet.
MSC is expected to file a civil lawsuit in addition to the current investigation.