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Olmert fraud charges could mean jail

Marketplace Staff Aug 31, 2009
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Olmert fraud charges could mean jail

Marketplace Staff Aug 31, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: An American businessman is at the center of a corruption scandal that could mean jail time for former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. It’s the first time in Israel’s history a person who’s served as prime minister faces criminal charges. Olmert resigned last year amid corruption allegations. Daniel Estrin has more from Jerusalem.


Daniel Estrin: Israel’s state prosecution submitted a 61-page indictment against Olmert yesterday, charging him with alleged crimes committed in previous political posts. Those charges include fraud and failing to report income.

At the center of one charge is Morris Talansky. The businessman from Long Island allegedly gave Olmert $600,000 in unreported campaign funding and gifts. In exchange, Olmert allegedly helped Talansky with his business affairs.

The former prime minister is also accused of double and triple-billing U.S.-based Jewish organizations and Israeli government agencies for flights he took to the U.S. and abroad.

Olmert denies wrongdoing. If convicted, he could face years in prison. Talansky testified in Israel earlier this summer, but it is unclear if the country will seek to indict him in the case.

From Jerusalem, I’m Daniel Estrin for Marketplace.

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