Avigdor Itzchaky Indicted for Aiding Tax Evasion

Former Kadima MK and coalition whip Avigdor Itzchaky indicted Sunday for fraud and allegedly helping clients evade taxes.

Former Kadima MK and coalition whip Avigdor Itzchaky was indicted yesterday for fraud and allegedly helping clients evade taxes.

Itzchaky, 50, an accountant, allegedly helped clients avoid NIS 4.5 million in taxes.

Meanwhile, Itzchaky participated in Benjamin Netanyahu's 100-day transition team meetings yesterday.

"I regret the mistake in filing the indictment, which has caused me great injury," said Itzchaky yesterday. "I will prove my innocence in court," he added.

The indictment, filed in the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, states that at the end of 2004 an engineer working at ECI Telecom as a Russia sales manager approached Itzchaky to handle her taxes.

The woman received sale commissions on top of her salary, and these were subject to Israeli taxes, says the indictment. Itzchaky allegedly presented the tax assessor with an explanation stating the money was from a one-time payment to her husband overseas and was thus exempt from Israeli taxes.

Itzchaky received NIS 750,000 for his services.

The clients said during the investigation that they did not know the claims were fraudulent, and paid what was asked of them. It has not yet been decided whether they will be charged.

Before joining Kadima in 2005, Itzchaky was director general of the Prime Minister's Office under Ariel Sharon. In 2008 he left the Knesset to protest that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not resign in the wake of the Winograd Report on the Second Lebanon War.

Itzchaky's lawyer, Yehoshua Reznik, said: "The filing of the indictment is a mistake, since Itzchaky only negotiated with the tax assessor. He was willing to disclose to the assessor about unreported funds and reach an agreement with him about those monies... There was no fraud or intent to defraud," said Reznik.