Israeli Tycoon Begins 3-Year Prison Term in Securities Fraud

YERUSHALAYIM (AP/Hamodia) -
Former Chairman of IDB Group Nochi Dankner arrives at the Maasiyahu Prison in Lod to serve a three-year sentence on Tuesday. (Flash90)

One of Israel’s most prominent businessmen has entered prison to begin a three-year term for securities fraud.

Former IDB Holding Corp. controlling shareholder Nochi Dankner began his term Tuesday for his role in carrying out millions of dollars’ worth of fraudulent transactions in an attempt to influence the share price of the troubled company.

IDB took on millions of dollars in debt following a series of bad business deals. The courts wrested control of IDB away from Dankner as a result.

He was initially sentenced to two years but the term was later extended.

Dankner was a favorite of Israel’s business community, often credited with helping rescue Israel’s economy at the height of a Palestinian uprising. Under his leadership, IDB became Israel’s largest holding company and Dankner became a celebrity.

Just before entering the prison, Dankner made a short statement, saying: “This is a difficult occasion for me and my family. I trust in G-d and I very much trust in the justice system and I love the State of Israel,” he said according to Ynet.

Dankner declined comment on reporters’ questions, including on whether he would express regret.