Aviv Talmor, founder and CEO of the Israeli algo-trading forex brokerage Utrade, is expected to be charged with criminal offences, according to an announcement from the Tel Aviv District Attorney (Taxation and Economics).
Talmor and other former UTrade executives will face multiple charges including fraud, false documentation, money laundering, managing investment portfolios without a license, obstructions of an investigation and more. However, the charges are subject to a hearing.
This move does not come as a surprise. Last April, the Israeli Securities Authority (ISA) announced the conclusion of its investigation into the UTrade case, recommending criminal charges against Mr Talmor.
The ISA says that the investigation found sufficient evidence of criminal offences listed above.
According to Israeli newspaper The Marker, lawyers Alon Ron, Kobi Ron and Ronen Menashe, representing Aviv Talmor, said in response to the allegations:
“Mr. Talmor denies the allegations against him. The materials relevant to the investigation have not yet reached us. We will review the materials and announce our stance regarding them in due course.”
$27 million stolen funds
The watchdog said that this is a serious and complex case, where multiple suspects acted with great sophistication while camouflaging the vast scope of their fraudulent activities, which lasted several years and severely hurt hundreds of clients in Israel and around the world. From 2012 to 2015 UTrade solicited $27 million from 604 Israeli clients. This was achieved by misleading investors with false presentations, forgeries as well as an aggressive and manipulative marketing campaign, the ISA found.
Additionally, according to the investigation’s findings, Aviv Talmor used the tens of millions of shekels of client funds for his personal aims, including his other businesses, while employing frontmen.
Furthermore, the ISA says that Aviv Talmor, together with managers and employees of the company, deliberately obstructed the investigation and hid critical evidence against them after the investigations started.