Israel's Trade Bank Embezzler Etti Alon Could Be Out of Jail in Six Months

Alon was jailed for 17 years in 2002 after embezzling more than $64 million from Trade Bank, where she was deputy manager of the investments department, causing the entire bank to collapse.

Etti Alon at her hearing at the Ramle Magistrate's Court, Feb. 17, 2016.
David Bachar

Convicted embezzler Etti Alon is likely to be released from jail in six months, following a hearing on Wednesday.

During Wednesday's hearing, the Israel Prison Service’s early release committee rejected Alon’s request to be released now, but recommended she be released in six months.

The state prosecution is expected to agree, so long as Alon maintains her good behavior.

Alon was jailed for 17 years in 2002, after embezzling more than 250 million shekels ($64 million) from Israel’s Trade Bank, where she was deputy manager of the investments department. The money was used to cover the gambling debts of her brother Ofer Maximov, and much of it went to underworld figures.

The embezzlement caused the entire bank to collapse.

Alon asked that her sentence be reduced by a third back in 2013, but she was turned down. The committee had recommended releasing her in 2014, but the state objected, citing the nature of her crime, the fact that the money had gone to crime organizations and the impact on public security.

During Wednesday's hearing, the state prosecutor noted that she is not considered a danger to the public and the more time passes, the less her early release would cause damage to public trust.

Alon is serving her sentence at the women’s prison Neve Tirza and has expressed remorse over her actions. She works at a printing press outside the jail.