Israeli Football Club Boss Detained in Crypto Fraud Case
(Bloomberg) -- The owner of an Israeli Premier League soccer club has been arrested alongside seven others on suspicion of cryptocurrency fraud of as much as hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars, Israeli police said.
Moshe Hogeg, who owns the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, was arrested with the others in early morning raids on their homes and businesses Thursday, the police said in a statement.
Those detained are suspected of enticing investors into cryptocurrency projects that did not eventuate. They “acted jointly in a systematic manner, while deceiving investors in a number of projects in the field of cryptocurrencies,” according to the statement.
The investigation, which lasted for several months, also unearthed suspected money laundering and tax offenses, the police said.
The eight are being held on remand, a court spokesman said.
Hogeg wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday afternoon that a cryptocurrency conference scheduled for this evening would have to be canceled. “Apologies,” wrote Hogeg. “Its all for the best.” Hogeg frequently posts about cryptocurrencies on his Twitter feed, where he describes himself as an entrepreneur, investor and “CryptoPunk.”
“Hogeg vehemently denies the suspicions against him and is cooperating fully with the investigators,” his attorneys Moshe Mazor and Amit Hadad said in a joint statement. “We are sure that at the end of the investigation it will become clear that there is no basis for the allegations against him.”
Ownix in turn said on its Twitter feed that it was terminating a consultation agreement with Hogeg that had been in place for several months and said the Israeli businessman did not own shares in it. Ownix added it had nothing to do with Hogeg’s legal matters.
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