The appointed managers running Trade Bank, which collapsed after employee Etti Alon stole NIS 250 million, have refused to pay her the NIS 67,000 the bank had deposited in her pension account on the grounds that she caused the bank's demise.
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Yesterday, the managers asked the court for permission to seize the cash, for use by the bank in its liquidation process.
Every month, the bank had deposited money in all its employees' pension accounts, run by Pisgah. Alon's account had accrued some NIS 67,000.
Nine months ago, Alon asked the bank's appointed managers, attorneys Uri Bergman and Yehuda Barlev, to release the principal to her. She claimed to need the money to support her children. The managers refused, saying that after her conviction for embezzlement, she was not entitled to the pension deposit. Alon had siphoned off some NIS 250 million from the two-branch bank over several years. Once the fraud was out in Spring 2002, the bank was immediately closed, and the government had to step in to guarantee innocent clients' deposits. Alon was found guilty in July 2003 and sentenced to 17 years in jail.
The managers' position is based on the severance compensation law, which denies eligibility to compensation if the employment was terminated justifiably. The managers claim that Alon's theft, causing the bank's total collapse, was just cause for her dismissal.