Israeli Crypto Entrepreneur Accused of Running $290 Million Scam

The Israeli police on Wednesday recommended filing criminal charges against cryptocurrency entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg, who allegedly used $290 million in crypto profits for his own personal benefit.

According to a Times of Israel report, the over quarter-billion dollars in fraudulent income allegedly came from four of Hogeg’s crypto projects between 2017 and 2018. Police have also charged other suspects involved in the case. 

Hogeg Reputedly Fooled Investors in Israel and Around the World

The investigation also reportedly uncovered evidence that Hogeg deceived investors by forging documents. On two occasions, the businessman allegedly promoted non-existent ventures.

In two other cases, he touted ventures with no potential future, yet convinced many investors in Israel

and globally to put money into these worthless enterprises that appeared promising.

Hogeg is the founder of the Sirin Labs blockchain startup and the former owner of the Beitar Jerusalem Football Club. Police accuse him of improperly raising $290 million from investors worldwide between 2017-2018 for four fraudulent crypto projects including Sirin Labs. He allegedly used the funds for his own personal interests.

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Hogeg is the former owner of FC Beitar Jerusalem, one of the country’s most popular clubs. Source: Dindia.

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During the extensive investigation, police questioned 180 suspects and executed multiple search warrants. They seized 900 pieces of digital and physical evidence across Israel and other countries.

In addition to financial crimes, police say they uncovered evidence that Hogeg committed sexual offenses and serially violated women’s privacy.

The recommended charges against Hogeg and other suspects include fraud, theft, forgery, money laundering, tax violations, and sex crimes. Hogeg was detained last year but released on house arrest. He denies any wrongdoing.

Hogeg Accuses the Israeli Authorities of Cruel Treatment in Custody

The cases now go to prosecutors for review and a decision on filing formal charges. The entrepreneur was first arrested and detained in 2021 after police suspected his involvement in fraud and various sex crimes.

The authorities released Hogeg to house arrest a month later. However, a covert investigation had actually been monitoring the suspect since 2020.

Hogeg denies all charges, but the accused has also made several explosive allegations. For one, Hogeg maintains that he was cruelly treated while in custody to extract evidence. Many independent experts have said there is some weight to his claims, according to the Times of Israel.

The jailed entrepreneur recently finalized the sale of his ownership stake in Beitar Jerusalem FC after securing financial help from former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat.

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