The home of Alfa Platinum Investment House owner and chairman Ami Segal was raided on a court order on Monday and documents and computer drives were seized. The seizure was related to a case of alleged theft of NIS 30 million from an Alfa Platinum client.
The seizure of the documents followed an emergency claim filed in the Tel Aviv District Court last week by businessman Shmuel Mendezitsky. Mendezitsky alleged that the investment house and its owner, Segal, had stolen the money from him and his company, Mendezitsky Investments.
"There has been no answer or even a hint of an answer to one simple question: Where is the money?" Mendezitsky's attorney said during a court hearing on Monday. "Even today all [Segal's] attorney has to say is how difficult things are for him." Nor had the investment house provided any explanation to how $1 million was transferred from his client's account to a Bermuda-based account after he had requested that his investments be liquidated, the attorney said.
Segal himself did not appear in court. He was represented by his attorney Gilad Narkis who rejected the allegations made by Mendezitsky and said that Segal was not in any financial distress. Segal, Narkis said, believed in the mutual fund in which Mendezitsky's money was invested and was under the impression that he had received instructions to invest the money.
At the hearing, the attorney for Alfa Platinum's CEO, Eran Notea, stated that Mendezitsky's motion was made in bad faith, because no one had contacted Notea on the matter before pursuing the matter in court.
In Monday's hearing, the judge criticized the lack of independent legal representation for Alfa Platinum, even though both its CEO and controlling stakeholder had attorneys representing their own personal interests in court. Notea's attorney responded that the appointment of an attorney to represent the company was the responsibility of its board and not within the purview of its CEO.
Last week, the court approved an asset seizure order for material related to Alfa Platinum, Segal, Notea and the private equity investment company founded by Segal, the Forum Group. However, the judge rejected the request for an asset seizure order for Alfa Platinum's chief economist, Shlomo Maoz, saying the latter had no contact with or connection to Mendezitsky.