Golan Hit With NIS 28m Claim, Dessau Barred From Diamond Exchange

Latest twist follows allegations that chairman helped himself to $4.8m, Leumi let $12m disappear from account

An NIS 28 million lawsuit has been leveled against Golan Fine Crafts (TASE: GLAN), the company announced today, following revelations that its former chairman allegedly helped himself to $4.8 million, and that Bank Leumi allowed $12 million to leave Golan's bank account without its knowledge.

The claimants against Golan and its ex-chairman, Oded Dessau, are a company called Baize Investments Israel and Mori Goldman.

On Wednesday Golan issued multiple announcements to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, while still trying to emanate a feeling of business as usual. The announcements related mainly to deals it's withdrawing from until its situation clears up. The company declares that it will act to file its financials for the second quarter, as required.

Meanwhile its brand-new board of directors means to continue in business, Golan says, and to act to end the suspension of trading in the company's stock.

Bank Leumi has refused to comment on Golan's allegations that it lifted NIS 55 million from its bank account (leaving it about NIS 3 million, the company says). Leumi explains that the issue falls into the category of confidential client relations.

After Dessau departed the chair over the $4.8 million business (which he claimed would be used to buy a company), he was replaced by Yehuda Shenhav, an economist by training. Shenhav, his wife Hannah Shenhav - a director at Golan - and Dessau's wife, Varda Dessau, are the only signatories at Golan.

In another development, the Diamond Exchange on Thursday banned Dessau from activity on the exchange, based on his problems and debts to diamond merchants. And that's after hearing his version of events.

Dessau and his brother in law owe $1.5 million to various diamond merchants. Attempts to reach an arrangement fell through.

Yesterday the arbitration board of the Diamond Exchange suspended Dessau's activity for two weeks. He appealed ? and after hearing him out, the committee decided unanimously to suspend his activities for an unlimited period of time.