Childhood friends of Moshe Hogeg suing the Israeli businessman for NIS 18 million

Roee Bruchiel, who claims to be Hogeg’s childhood friend and who served as his personal assistant, and Eran Okashi, who worked as a bookkeeper at Hogeg’s Singulariteam VC, are suing former boss for fraud

Lital Dovrovitski 13:5326.05.21
The lawsuits just keep coming for Israeli businessman Moshe Hogeg. Roee Bruchiel, who claims to be a childhood friend of Hogeg and who served as his personal assistant, and Eren Okashi, who served as a bookkeeper at Hogeg’s Singulariteam Venture Capital fund, filed a lawsuit against Hogeg on Tuesday at the Tel Aviv District Court, suing Hogeg along with several other businessmen for NIS 18 million ($5.5 million).


Adi Sheleg, who served in the past as a witness in the Nochi Danker case, is also among those being sued, with the two plaintiffs claiming both he and others mentioned in the lawsuit were partners at Singulariteam. The plaintiffs, who are being represented by lawyers Ilan Sofer and Elad Becker, claim that they had invested in a number of failed initiatives at the fund and that they are owed money.


A lawsuit has been filed against Israeli businessman Moshe Hogeg. Photo: Orel Cohen A lawsuit has been filed against Israeli businessman Moshe Hogeg. Photo: Orel Cohen


The lawsuit claims that the defendants founded several companies which it later became clear were inactive dummy companies, in order to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in funds under false pretenses. After each funding round, the defendants completely drained the companies’ coffers, and left them without any significant activity, leaving the plaintiffs facing massive financial damage.


In addition, the plaintiffs claim that the Singulariteam fund was used as a platform to raise funds from private and public investors to create various business ventures, and that between 2017-2018 the majority of the fund’s ventures were in the cryptocurrency sector.


The plaintiffs claim in the lawsuit that “due to the familiarity between the parties, the defendants enticed the plaintiffs to personally invest in Singulariteam’s ventures and raise significant amounts of money for them from different investors, including close family members and friends. However, over time it became clear to the plaintiffs that this was a fraud scheme...and they were shocked to discover that those business ventures weren't designed to maximize investors’ profits, but rather a malicious plan by the defendants to plunder investors’ money. Investors were presented with a misrepresentation that showed there was activity in the ventures, but in reality there was no actual activity. After the funds were raised for those ventures, the defendants began plundering the coffers, and funneled the money into their own private pockets.”


Moreover, the plaintiffs claim that each business venture was founded through foreign companies, but in reality “they were managed and controlled by the defendants from the Singulariteam offices in Ramat Gan.”


The lawsuit also claims that the defendants “embarked on an unprecedented spending spree which wouldn’t shame even the Wolf of Wall Street, which included purchasing luxury cars, worldwide flights on private jets, reserving suites at luxury hotels for hundreds of thousands of shekels, and more.”


“Hogeg exhibited horrific behavior”


In the lawsuit, Bruchiel said that he functioned as Hogeg’s personal assistant and was “exposed during the course of my work to horrific behavior by Hogeg. As a result, Bruchiel still suffers from nightmares.”


The two plaintiffs also claim that out of complete trust in Hogeg, they along with others worked to convince their relatives and friends to invest in the company’s ventures. “After those ventures collapsed and failed, the plaintiffs were left to deal with the enormous financial damage that was caused to their relatives.” It is important to note that from appendices that were filed to the court, it arises that the defendants completely deny all claims. A statement of defense has yet to have been filed.


Hogeg commented in response: “The filing of the lawsuit was preceded by what can only be described as an extortion attempt toward Hogeg. The claims are weak and are detached from reality, and are merely an indecent attempt to unlawfully obtain money from Hogeg and his partners. The wide gap between the salaries of a simple company chauffeur and a bookkeeper compared to the size of the lawsuit also shows that we are dealing with two petty extortionists. Hogeg has plenty of evidence which proves the extortion process and these will be presented to the suitable bodies. These are two disgruntled employees who were furloughed during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, and after time it was discovered that they stole company documents in an attempt to extort Hogeg. Hogeg, of course, did not cooperate with this devious attempt, and this is the source of the lawsuit. The fact that the plaintiffs turned to the media before the lawsuit against Hogeg was even presented to Hogeg talks for itself and reveals the improper motives of the submitters. Hogeg is convinced that at the end of the legal proceedings he will emerge on top and the two former employees will be required to pay for the extensive damages that they caused with their improper, not to mention, criminal conduct.”