The Supreme Court yesterday reduced the prison sentence of former Bank Hapoalim chairman Dan Dankner from 12 months to eight months. Dankner will begin serving on August 17.
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Dankner was convicted of fraud, breach of trust and other banking and securities violations in a plea bargain last year. In December he was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 1 million shekels ($290,000).
In reducing his custodial sentence, the court accepted in part Dankner’s appeal against the harshness of the punishment. He argued that his world was destroyed by the conviction and the sentence he claimed was unprecedented relative to the offenses.
“There is no doubt that Dankner experienced a real turning point in his life for the worse, and it is unfortunate that he cannot be a support to his family, his ailing wife and his children during his imprisonment. And we must not take lightly Dankner’s fall from his lofty position,” Justice Elyakim Rubinstein wrote in the ruling.
But Rubinstein said Dankner had no one to blame but himself.Justices Esther Hayut and Salim Joubran agreed with Rubinstein, adding that the seriousness of the offenses of which Dankner was convicted justified a custodial sentence.
Dankner’s attorneys expressed satisfaction with the ruling, saying the Supreme Court showed Dankner significant and exceptional leniency in reducing his sentence.