A suspect was arrested yesterday in what Tel Aviv police say would have been the biggest inheritance fraud in Israeli history. Police believe a crime organization in the center of the country is behind an attempt to defraud a family of real estate worth over $50 million.
A few months ago, David and Liora Mahkashvili, whose father Aharon Yashar Mahkashvili died in 1994 after amassing properties valued at tens of millions of dollars in Israel, went to the police after discovering that someone had requested a confirmation of his will.
The police discovered that an individual who was apparently in the service of a criminal organization had forged documents stolen from the family's properties. Working with a woman who impersonated Aharon's last surviving sister - the family's properties were willed to the three sisters who survived him - he got a lawyer to change the names of the heirs in the original will.
A custody hearing is scheduled for this morning. Police will ask that he be held for several more days. Additional arrests are expected within the next few days. The family's holdings include a building on Tel Aviv's Montefiore Street that houses the Kyoto restaurant, several buildings in and around Nahalat Binyamin Street, properties in Kfar Shmaryahu and other areas.
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