Israel: Ex-army general indicted on tax evasion charges

i24NEWS

3 min read
Former Israeli army brigadier general Gal Hirsch during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, December 26, 2018.
FLASH90Former Israeli army brigadier general Gal Hirsch during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, December 26, 2018.

Gal Hirsch is accused of fraud, false reporting, and alleged tax evasion valued at $1.9 million

Charges against a former Israeli army brigadier general were filed at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court over tax offenses.

Gal Hirsch is accused of fraud, false reporting, and alleged tax evasion valued at $1.9 million, The Times of Israel (ToI) reported. 

The charges follow corruption probes into Hirsch’s business dealings as head of Defensive Shield, an international defense services firm.

Hirsch was notified last year that the state prosecutor’s office for tax and financial crimes was considering indicting him, among three others, for tax crimes suspected to occur in 2007-2009, according to ToI.

Prosecutors announced that the four partners - Oded Shachnai, Yaniv Adam, Mikhael Benimini, and Hirsch - worked together at Defensive Shield.

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They added that between 2007 and 2009, the four men brokered arms sales to Georgia and provided services to other countries. 

The men allegedly enriched themselves collectively of about $11.5 million, ToI mentioned, failing to report such an income to the Tax Authority.

Charges claim that the businessmen set up a web of companies and bank accounts in Israel, Georgia, Switzerland, and the English Channel island Guernsey. 

Income received from Georgia’s Defense Ministry was reportedly shared among the four and hidden from Israel’s tax officials. 

The Times of Israel reported that Hirsch was recently in contact with prosecutors to discuss a possible plea deal, but failed to come to an agreement.

Hirsch, who was once in line to be the head of Israel’s Police, was the center of controversy during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 after two soldiers were kidnapped. 

The then-army general was criticized for how he handled the situation, accused of giving unintelligible orders during the subsequent fighting.