Given news reports like the September 27, 2007 Reuters’ article about money laundering in Israel, I am never surprised when an asset search reveals that a bankruptcy debtor, a divorcing spouse or other person has washed money through Israel. In one case for example, (the facts of which have been sanitized / changed herein), the defendant in a civil case had laundered millions via an offshore bank account concealed in Israel. The defendant had used an Israeli bank account as a laundering link to wash money after it had been transferred through several Major Money Laundering Countries. The defendant had also hidden assets by purchasing real property in Israel in the name of a shell company which had been secretly formed.
Despite the fact of the real property hidden in Israel, (and the millions the defendant had laundered), the defendant repeatedly told the plaintiff in the civil case, things like: "I don’t have the money you think I have". The defendant then threatened during settlement discussions that: "If we don’t settle now and we have to go to trial, you might never see a dime".
In the above case, the plaintiff might have considered filing a Request For Legal Assistance / Letter Rogatory to elicit financial evidence from bank and other witnesses in Israel. Prosecuting a Request For Legal Assistance, (like the attached sanitized / changed copy), can sometimes be critically important to the successful outcome of a civil litigation. As my local counsel in Tel Aviv also has advised, a Request For Legal Assistance may also uncover violations of the Prohibition on Money Laundering Law 5760-2000 or other Israeli laws.
Copyright 2008 Fred L. Abrams