Jacky Ben Zaken Indicted for Stock Manipulation

Three traders charged with fraudulently driving up stock prices.

Jacky Ben Zaken, former principal owner of Financial Levers, was indicted Tuesday by the Tel Aviv district prosecutor's office for stock manipulation, aggravated fraud and conspiracy to commit a crime, subject to a hearing.

Also indicted on related charges were Eitan Eldar, a partner in Arena Capital and Zvika Kolenbrenner, a former portfolio manager at Internetica. The three companies – Financial Levers, Arena Capital and Internetica – also face charges.

According to the charges, Ben Zaken and Eldar conspired to buy Financial Levers stock during trading to fraudulently ramp up its share price to qualify the stock for inclusion in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's TA-100 index. The prosecutor's office also claims Ben Zaken and Eldar conspired to generate favorable news items in the financial press, providing Calcalist reporter Golan Hazani with false information as the basis for a story on the company published in November 2010.

According to the allegations, coordinated buy and sell orders for Financial Levers stock executed by Eldar and Kolenbrenner between November 18 and November 30, 2010 – mainly during the closing hours of daily trading – succeeded in artificially driving the share price up by 5%.

Ben Zaken's attorneys Ram Caspi, Navot Tel-Zur and Yaron Lipshes responded: "Ben Zaken was sorry to hear of the prosecutor's decision to summon him to a hearing, but is convinced that after presenting a complete statement at his hearing the prosecution will conclude that all his actions were performed in good faith and with full transparency, strictly to promote the interests of Financial Levers."
 

Ofer Vaknin