Senior financial crimes investigator indicted for fraud, theft

Officer allegedly used information about probe subjects’ finances to plan robberies, and forged checks he took from the evidence room

Haviv Rettig Gur is The Times of Israel's senior analyst.

The Tax Authority building in Jerusalem (photo credit: Flash90)
The Tax Authority building in Jerusalem (photo credit: Flash90)

A senior investigator in the Israel Police’s financial crimes unit was indicted Sunday for defrauding subjects of his investigations.

Prosecutors filed criminal charges in the Lod District Court Sunday of theft, fraud, forgery and other crimes against Michael Shushan, 44, the lead investigator on cases handled by the Yahalom unit, a joint unit of the Tax Authority and the Israel Police charged with investigating financial crimes.

According to the charges, Shushan, a Modiin resident who was taken into police custody Sunday, discovered through the financial documents of one investigation subject that the subject had a great deal of cash and valuable in his Rishon Lezion home. He then allegedly broke into the subject’s home and stole jewelry, laptops and tens of thousands of shekels in cash.

Shushan also allegedly took items from the Lod Police Financial Unit evidence room, including checkbooks seized from an investor who was under investigation. According to the prosecution, Shushan used the checkbooks to write checks to himself for millions of shekels, but the checks were canceled when the investor discovered the theft.

When Shushan discovered the cancellation, he allegedly grew angry, called the investor and asked to meet. When the investor declined to meet, Shushan allegedly sent a text message threatening to “crush you, you idiot,” according to Walla.

Shushan was placed on forced leave in May after the director of Yahalom discovered irregularities in his activities.

But forced leave didn’t curtail his activities, according to the indictment. While on leave, Shushan allegedly presented himself to currency exchange companies as a Tax Authority inspector conducting an audit of the business. On these visits he allegedly stole cash from the businesses he was pretending to inspect.

The State Prosecution has asked the Lod District Court to keep Shushan under remand until the end of proceedings.

Shushan has reportedly invoked his right to keep silent as the investigation gets under way.

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