Bank of Israel to Collect on Civil Lawsuit Over Counterfeit Cash

A sign leading to the Tax Authority’s offices, Bank of Israel and Land Administration offices in Yerushalayim. (FLASH90)

In a precedent-setting case, two counterfeiters have been ordered by an Ashkelon court to pay the Bank of Israel a penalty for stealing its intellectual property. In addition to convictions for manufacturing and distributing fake NIS 200 notes, the culprits have been order to pay the bank NIS 150,000 for violating its IP rights. The money, the court ordered, will be paid at a rate of NIS 1,500 a month for a period of 100 months.

The two counterfeiters distributed tens of thousands worth of phony shekel notes, the court found in its conviction of the two. In addition, the bank decided to sue the pair for copying its design of the NIS 200 notes, contending that much effort had gone into designing them, ironically with many features designed to prevent counterfeiting.

The bank was assisted by the Justice Ministry in the case. “This is a precedent-setting case,” the ministry said in a statement. “This is the first time we have used a civil suit to further punish criminals for their actions, in this case counterfeiting. The two were suppliers of phony cash for criminal activities, a goal they achieved by violating the Bank of Israel’s copyrights and intellectual property. We will continue to use civil law tools to further punish criminals in similar cases,” the statement added.