Tel Aviv judge resigns over accusations of tax evasion
Judge Dan Mor, who on numerous occasions criticized tax authorities, agrees to resign after suspicions against him surfaced.
A former Tel Aviv District Court judge who resigned suddenly last month has been investigated by police on suspicion of evading taxes during an eight-year period, the Justice Ministry announced on Tuesday.
Judge Dan Mor - the colorful judge who on numerous occasions criticized tax authorities, the State Prosecutor's Office and police - agreed to resign after suspicions against him surfaced.
Mor has been investigated for evading NIS 211,000 in taxes over a period of eight years. He is expected to appear before the Income Tax Authority's "penalties committee," which will decide how much he must pay in order to close the tax evasion file against him.
Suspicions against Mor first arose after a random audit conducted into his son's tax returns revealed that, between 2000 and 2007, the judge was reporting income from several properties he owned in a Tel Aviv building as his son's income. The audit reportedly revealed that the income was in fact Mor's, and that it was even in effect transferred to him.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved a covert investigation of the judge. In May, after authorities presented their initial findings, the attorney general approved an overt investigation, during which Mor was interrogated under caution.
An opinion by the State Prosecutor's Office on the matter convinced Weinstein that there is an evidentiary basis for the claim that Mor violated income tax law by failing to report income from his rental properties. However, the file against Mor's son was closed.
In light of the fact that the judge has criticized tax authorities on various occasions in the past, Weinstein decided to hand the case over to the National Fraud Unit rather than the Income Tax Authority, under whose purview similar cases usually fall. On Tuesday, the Justice Ministry described the decision as an effort "to prevent a mistaken impression and loose lips."
Mor, through his lawyer Pini Rubin, denied committing any crime. Yet he claimed that because it is improper for the justice system to investigate him, he asked that he be allowed to put an end to the proceedings by paying a penalty and resigning from his judicial post.
Weinstein agreed to the penalty, although the Justice Ministry explained Tuesday that the Income Tax Authority will make the final decision about whether to end criminal proceedings in exchange for payment of a penalty, in accordance with policy in similar cases. It will also ultimately be up to the Income Tax Authority to determine the size of the penalty.