I read Salon, so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.
RISHON LEZION, Israel (AP) — It was an unlikely scene for what has the trappings of a major scam, an office in a dingy building housing a car repair shop a short drive from the glittering Mediterranean Sea…
…they telephoned employees at some of Europe’s biggest companies, identified themselves as top executives and tricked workers into transferring large sums of money to bank accounts in their control, police said. Among the companies targeted, according to police and suspects’ lawyers: Kia Motors, Hugo Boss and Chanel.
It was a classic “fake CEO” or “fake president” scam, a scheme used by criminals worldwide that has robbed companies of some $1.8 billion in just over two years, according to the FBI. Most of the eight suspects in the latest case are either jailed or under house arrest.
But not the man who boasts of creating the scam, which has inspired copycats like these around the globe: French-Israeli con artist Gilbert Chikli. He mysteriously remains a free man, living in luxury in his villa in a seaside Israeli city as French authorities try to bring him to justice over a massive con for which he was previously convicted.
“If they have a problem, they can come see me. They know my address. I am not fleeing,” Chikli told The Associated Press by telephone. “Send them my regards.”
Still, Israeli officials show no signs of going after Chikli, even as they prosecute his alleged copycats for similar crimes. Israel’s police and Justice Ministry declined to explain why, saying they do not discuss individual cases. Israeli police said they work with law enforcement from around the world to clamp down on fraud…
Well, now I wonder why Israeli officials “sho no signs of going after Chikli? History shows where Israel is involved, there is collusion and corruption.
The suspects are suspected of defrauding or attempting to defraud companies in France, Belgium, Italy and elsewhere in Europe out of 10.5 million euros ($12 million). A police investigator said in court that between January and April, they’d managed to persuade an employee of Kia Motors in France to transfer 462,000 euros ($520,000) to a bank account they controlled.
A lawyer for one of the suspects said police confronted his client with documents pertaining to luxury fashion companies Hugo Boss and Chanel. Police would not comment on the companies involved.
Chanel declined comment. Repeated messages to Hugo Boss went unreturned. A spokesman for Kia Motors France declined to comment on the case, but acknowledged the company is confronted with cybercrime.
One suspect’s lawyer said his client has confessed to his role in the scam, while others say their clients are innocent, or invoking the right to silence. One lawyer said his client told him from jail that it was unfair that he, who professes innocence, was in Israeli custody while Chikli, who had confessed to his scam, lived free. The lawyer spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation with his client… -Salon
Where there is money and crime, you can almost always find Merchant somewhere close by.