Police: One of Israel's Central Credit Card Companies Guilty of Internet Fraud

CAL International allegedly part of scam involving online gambling, porn.

Daniel Bar-On

Israel Police recommended on Wednesday that credit card company CAL face trial for enabling illegal gambling.

The police’s economic crime unit Lahav 443 stated that it had finished its investigation into the Discount group company and its former CEO Boaz Chechik Wednesday, and that both parties should face trial on suspicions of fraudulent receiving under aggravated circumstances, issuing false corporate reports, taking bribes and money laundering.

Chechik’s lawyer stated in response that her client had operated exclusively in keeping with the law and for the benefit of the company, and that he would likely be cleared of all suspicion.

According to the suspicions, CAL subsidiary CAL International took money from Israeli customers and transferred it to companies abroad, thus enabling the Israelis to enter online gambling sites from within Israel, in violation of the law.

The company also allegedly cleared credit card transactions for international gambling sites and falsely reported these transactions to international credit groups.

CAL allegedly defrauded Visa International by using a code representing low-risk companies for transactions made on gambling and pornography websites, even though these businesses are considered high risk, and thus avoided paying the high fees imposed on high-risk sites. It also allegedly failed to report that the payments were going to these sites.

Sources close to the investigation alleged that CAL took in hundreds of millions of dollars via these activities and by adding thousands of new customers.

The police began their investigation following a complaint filed by the Discount group’s internal auditor regarding CAL’s activities clearing international credit card transactions for websites.

The probe found that CAL International allegedly defrauded international credit groups on a large scale between 2007 and 2010. CAL allegedly increased its turnover by billions of shekels due to illicit operations.

The police said the investigation touched on many countries across several continents.