Plea Bargain in the CityR Group Scandal; No Criminal Findings
by M Green
Quietly, oh so quietly, without reverberating headlines, another scandal story has been closed quietly after six years. The suspicions were emblazoned in all the economic publications. This involves the story of the CityR Group from New Jersey which solicited funds of Israeli investors to the tune of over one hundred million dollars.
Uri Frish and Roi Marciano, partner-directors of the company, were arrested by the Stock Exchange Authority in November 2017. Business publications reported that they raised funds from hundreds of investors, a hefty portion of which went straight into their pockets, and of the suspicion of accruing monies without a prospectus and proper supervision, receiving things deceptively through dishonorable means, criminal acts of laundered monies, falsifying facts to the stocks and bonds authorities and deceiving investors in many ways.
Last week, charges were finally filed, but they only specified one relatively minor crime: soliciting funds without a prospectus (an offense according to Clause 15 of the Law of Stocks and Bonds). The sum which originally stood at one hundred million dollars, was only charged in the writ as 74 million which were raised from 900 investors.
According to the plea bargain as agreed between the parties, Frish would serve a six months sentence of public service plus a fine of 60 thousand shekel. Marciano was sentenced to four months of public service and fined 40,000 shekel. The Excel Med company, owned by Frish and which served as the market arm of CityR in Israel, was fined 200,000 shekel.
No serious crimes were mentioned and no reference was made to investors having lost money.