French and Israeli media report that a group largely made up of Israelis scammed 3,000 French citizens out of approximately $20 million. Most of the stolen money is in Israel, but Israeli authorities are reportedly failing to cooperate with France in prosecuting the scammers and retrieving the money.
This is the latest of numerous examples of Israeli officials stone-walling international efforts against the perpetrators of massive financial swindles around the world, according to Israeli investigative journalists and others. These scams have brought estimated billions into the Israeli economy, propping up a regime widely condemned for human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing against indigenous Palestinians. Together, the stories paint a picture of a government that seems to be turning a blind eye to – and even protecting – scammers.
A Finance Magnates analysis reports that one of the swindles alone has brought in over a billion dollars and employs 5,000 people. And a new scam, described below, may help what is predicted to be “the next major driver of the Israeli economy.”
A former IRS expert on international crime notes that “fraudulent industries are often major economic drivers, and that can translate into political clout.”
Some Israeli journalists have been working to expose the situation in Israeli newspapers, publishing exposés like “As Israel turns blind eye to vast binary options fraud, French investigators step in” and “Are French Jewish criminals using Israel as a get-out-of-jail card?” (Short answer: yes.)
Victimizing French business owners & churches
The victims of the recent scam against French citizens included churches and the owners of small businesses – delicatessens, car repair shops, hair salons, plumbers, etc. Some lost their life savings and describe being threatened and intimidated by the scammers.
The masterminds of the scam reportedly were Antoine Ilan Frau (aka Ilan Frau) and Michael Nedjar, both of whom resided in Israel at the time. French police arrested the two at the Paris airport in 2016 as they were about to return to Israel. While they and 25 others were subsequently found guilty in a French court, other alleged co-conspirators have not yet been arrested and are believed to be in Israel.