In a significant development, Israeli police have recommended charging cryptocurrency businessman and former Beitar Jerusalem FC owner Moshe Hogeg with fraud, theft, money laundering, and sex crimes. The recommendation follows a two-year investigation accusing Hogeg of raising $290 million from investors under false pretenses for four crypto projects and then using the money for his interests between 2017 and 2018.
Police recommend charging Hogeg with fraud
The police have cited a wide range of evidence in their recommendation to charge Hogeg, including aggravated fraud, theft by an authorized person, conspiracy to commit a crime, false registration of corporate documents, forgery, money laundering, and tax violations. Other suspects in the case have also been charged with various offenses.
During the investigation, police also found evidence that Hogeg carried out sexual offenses and serial violations of women’s privacy. Hogeg was detained in 2021 on suspicion of involvement in the alleged massive fraud and sex crimes and was released to house arrest a month later. He denied all the accusations against him and claimed he was treated cruelly while in police custody.
The investigation into Hogeg’s activities involved questioning 180 people, conducting dozens of searches, and seizing 900 pieces of evidence, money, and property across several countries. The police have been investigating Hogeg since the case went public in 2021.
Some of Hogeg’s purchases using the allegedly illegal funds included $7 million for ownership of the Beitar Jerusalem Football Club, which he later sold to businessman Barak Abramov in August 2022. Hogeg’s involvement in various crypto projects, including Tomi, a blockchain project based on an “alternative internet network,” has also come under scrutiny.
A spokesperson for Hogeg has stated that he welcomed the conclusion of the investigation and described many publications covering the case as doing a “great injustice” against him.
In conclusion, the police investigation reportedly involved questioning 180 people and seizing money and property in several countries. Hogeg’s cases are now being sent to prosecutors for review. Last year, Hogeg finalized a deal to sell Beitar to ex-Bnei Yehuda soccer club owner Barak Abramov, after key assistance from former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat. The three men had gathered at the home of Barkat, now the economy minister from Likud, as he worked to raise funds to smooth the deal, eventually pulling in NIS 2 million ($600,000), reportedly from a South African donor.