Eleven Israelis Charged Over Unreported Swiss Bank Accounts

Among those indicted are an English lecturer, a dentist, the owner of a chicken feed producer and marketer, a manager of an engraving factory and an attorney

CFO Kirt Gardner sits beside CEO Sergio Ermotti of Swiss bank UBS during the annual news conference in Zurich, Switzerland January 22, 2018.
\ ARND WIEGMANN/ REUTERS

Eleven Israelis were recently indicted on charges of concealing income from investments in the Swiss Bank UBS.

The indictments were issued against businesspeople and bank employees for concealing income from investments ranging from hundreds of thousands of shekels to 50 million shekels ($14.5 million).

According to law, Israelis are allowed to hold bank accounts abroad, but must report taxable income on interest, dividends, capital profits and other such earnings. The charges vary depending on the individual.

Among those indicted are an English lecturer at Tel Aviv University, a dentist, the owner of a chicken feed producer and marketer, a manager of an engraving factory and an attorney.

The alleged offenses involve accounts in which the money deposited was at first not subject to taxation (such as inheritance or gifts) and focuses on the fact that the account itself, and the amount it contained were not reported, as well as non-reporting of income from interest, dividends and securities.

The cases were investigated by the Tax Authority’s Haifa and northern district office and are now being handed by attorney Noga Blickstein Schory of the State Prosecutor’s Office and economic department.

In the summer of 2014, the Tax Authority was able to obtain a list of clients of UBS following surveillance of the owners of a network of clinics who met in Israel with their tax adviser, Roni Elias, from USB. Surveilling them led to Elias, and in a search of his Tel Aviv hotel room a list was found on his computer of hundreds of Israelis with unreported accounts in Switzerland.

Trials are already underway against some of the suspects: Boris Weissman and Avishar Weissman, a father and son who were the former directors of a network of sexual dysfunction treatment clinics and the owners of about 60 clinics abroad. They are suspected of establishing a number of straw companies, registered in the Virgin Islands and Panama, which held accounts in USB, to which most of the income from the clinics was sent. The profit after funding the clinics’ operating costs, according to the indictment, went into the Weissman’s pockets.