TEL AVIV: Prosecutors filed an arraignment on Wednesday against high-profile real estate developer Inbal Or that included 15 charges of fraud and tax offenses plus a claim she failed to report some NIS 81 million in earnings to authorities.
Or was accused of defrauding clients, deceiving a bank manager as well as consumer protection law violations, according to the documents filed at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.
The offences were allegedly committed during the period 2008-2016, when she was active in the property business.
Or, who distances herself from any wrongdoing, told Channel 13 news after the indictment was filed that “from my point of view, this is a happy day,” because it will give her the chance to prove her innocence.
“I have waited for this for three and a half years,” she said. “The truth will come out in court. This is my chance to put an end to this affair and this torture. The media will eat its hat for having discredited me all these years.”
Prosecutors summon that Or did not provide invoices or report to the Customs and VAT Department some of her business transactions in eight residential projects for which she organized purchase groups.
She is accused of not reporting a total sum of NIS 81 million ($22.95 million) on which she should have paid NIS 11.5 million ($3.26 million) in tax.
Or’s main company, Or City Real Estate, plus her other businesses were liquidated in 2016 after her arrest in February that year following her failure to show up for court hearings on suspicions of tax evasion and handing out fraudulent invoices.
Some of the cases stated in the indictment involve a purchasing group Or organized for a real-estate project on Chlenov Street in Tel Aviv.
According to the indictment, Or asked some of the clients to forward checks directly to the account of a company she owned instead of transferring them to the group’s trustee for the purpose of buying the asset planned for the project, all behind the trustee’s back.
The tactic allegedly earned NIS 2 million into the firm’s bank account, but the trustee account was left without enough money to purchase the property and group members were required to top up their initial investment.
Prosecutors also accuse Or for forging a bank document to show she had tens of millions of shekels in her account so as to convince a branch manager for Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot to honor checks from one of her businesses even though doing so would go beyond the company’s overdraft limit. According to the indictment, a check she issued to cover the overdraft later bounced.
In other alleged crimes, Or bought personal items such as jewelry and clothes worth NIS 900,000 and falsely listed them on the books of a company she controlled. Another of her companies bought her a NIS 2.7 million property, papers indicated.
She is also accused of breaching consumer protection laws by advertising apartments in construction projects for sale at great prices without specifying that interested parties were joining a purchasing group rather than directly purchasing an apartment.
The deputy director of finances in Or’s companies, Dror Giladi, was also mentioned in some of the charges, including the forged Bank Mizrahi document. A separate charge was filed against Or’s personal assistant Tali Hayu.