Democratic Israel chairman Ehud Barak has indicated on Facebook that he will consider breaking off his business relations with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who bankrolled Barak’s investment in Carbyne, an Israeli start-up company in which the former prime minister is the controlling shareholder and chairman of the board.
“For almost five years, a company associated with Epstein has been a passive investor in a limited partnership, legally registered in Israel and under my control,” wrote Barak on his Facebook page. “Every investor in this partnership is bound by the same commercial contract. As soon as the present charges related to Epstein became known, I instructed my lawyers to examine the options we have for expelling the company associated with Epstein from this partnership," wrote Barak.
In 2008, Epstein was convicted of procuring a 14-year-old girl for the purpose of prostitution, for which he served 13 months in prison. This week he was arrested and charged with trafficking, luring dozens of girls for the purpose of providing sex services for money.
In 2015, Barak set up a limited partnership, registered under the name Sum (E.B.), in which he holds all the shares. This partnership invested in and became chief shareholder in a company called Reporty, which was registered in 2014. Last year this company changed its name to Carbyne.
The company has developed a service which enables the transmission of live video and audio recordings to emergency call centers, along with precise information as to the location of the person calling in and an assessment as to the reliability of the report.
Financial newspapers have reported that Barak invested millions of shekels in this company. The link between Barak and New York billionaire Epstein was revealed this week by Gidi Weitz in Haaretz.
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The charges against Epstein claim that he knew that his victims were minors, and that he paid several of them to recruit others. A raid on his ranch yielded many photos of nude girls. “The conduct described in the indictment rattles one’s conscience” said the prosecutor. Epstein requested to be placed under house arrest and his lawyers claimed that he had “behaved as a law-abiding citizen since his 2008 conviction.”