(Bloomberg) -- Israeli police accused businessman Moshe Hogeg and his partners of defrauding investors of $290 million in a cryptocurrency scam after a two-year investigation into the former owner of an Israeli Premier League soccer team.
Hogeg should be charged with fraud, theft, money laundering, forgery and tax offenses, the national police said in a statement on Wednesday. They submitted their recommendation to Israeli prosecutors, who will decide whether to pursue charges and also review evidence of sex crimes.
“We welcome the conclusion of the investigation and the transfer of the case to the State Prosecutor’s Office,” a spokesperson for Hogeg said in a statement. “We are convinced that after examining the case by the State Prosecutor’s Office, it will become clear that things are completely different from the various publications published over the years that did a great injustice to Moshe Hogeg.”
Investigators said Hogeg and several of his associates, who were not identified in the document, are suspected of using millions of dollars for personal use that were raised from Israeli and foreign investors in 2017 and 2018 for four cryptocurrency startups. Police said they questioned 180 witnesses, collected 900 pieces of evidence, and seized some funds and assets.
Hogeg was arrested in 2021, along with seven others, and later released under house arrest.
Hogeg is a tech entrepreneur and investor behind a string of failed startups. He raised money from actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim for the now-defunct Mobli photo-sharing application and collected over $1 million for an app, Yo, that let users send and receive messages that contained only the word “yo.”
Hogeg, the founder of the Singulariteam Ltd investment fund, continues to back Web3 projects and in July posted on social media about his involvement with the TomiNet cryptocurrency.
(Updates with comment from Hogeg’s spokesperson in third paragraph)
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