ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Police seek charges in cases against crypto businessman Moshe Hogeg

As investigation wraps up, former Beitar Jerusalem owner accused of sex offenses and using $290 million raised in false crypto projects for personal benefit

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

File: Moshe Hogeg (right), a cryptocurrency businessman and former Beitar Jerusalem FC owner, holds a press conference in Ramat Gan on August 9, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
File: Moshe Hogeg (right), a cryptocurrency businessman and former Beitar Jerusalem FC owner, holds a press conference in Ramat Gan on August 9, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Police on Wednesday recommended charging cryptocurrency businessman and former Beitar Jerusalem FC owner Moshe Hogeg with fraud, theft, money laundering, and sex crimes, after more than two years of investigation.

Citing a wide range of evidence, police accused Hogeg of raising $290 million from investors in Israel and around the world under false pretenses for four crypto projects and then using the money for his own interests from 2017 to 2018.

During the investigation, police said they also found evidence that Hogeg carried out sexual offenses and serial violations of women’s privacy.

Police accuse Hogeg of committing a range of financial crimes, including aggravated fraud, theft by an authorized person, conspiracy to commit a crime, false registration of corporate documents, forgery, money laundering, and tax violations.

Other suspects in the case were also charged with a range of offenses, police added.

Police said they questioned some 180 people involved, carried out dozens of searches, and seized 900 pieces of evidence, money, and property across several countries since the investigation went public in 2021.

File: Moshe Hogeg, then-Beitar Jerusalem owner, seen during the Israeli Premier League match between Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Beersheba at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, on August 25, 2019. (Flash90)

Hogeg’s cases are being sent to prosecutors for review, police said.

Hogeg was detained in 2021 along with seven others on suspicion of involvement in the alleged massive fraud and sex crimes, then was released to house arrest a month later.

He has denied all the accusations against him and has said that he was treated cruelly while in police custody to extract information, claims that experts have said are valid in many cases.

Last year, Hogeg finalized a deal to sell Beitar to ex-Bnei Yehuda soccer club owner Barak Abramov, after key assistance from former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat.

The three men had gathered at the home of Barkat, now the economy minister from Likud, as he worked to raise funds to smooth the deal, eventually pulling in NIS 2 million ($600,000), reportedly from a South African donor.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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