/ By Ithak Dannon /
The 91 employees of Netivtei Psagot Ltd. of Tel Aviv, most if not all new immigrants from France, filed a petition with the Tel Aviv District Court, seeking the appointment of a provisional liquidator for the company, claiming it can no longer meet its financial obligations as they come due and that there is a reasonable likelihood that the meager amount of asset that still remains its possession would either be siphoned off or appropriated by its creditors or stockholders.
The petitioners aver that the company, founded in January 2010, provided telemarketing services and sold subscriptions for and tickets of the French lottery company Française des Jeux to French individuals, using a phone system physically located in Israel and through the company’s website Euro Millions (http://www.euro-millions.com/france.asp).
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According to the employees, during the beginning of June 2013 the company shut down its four branch offices in Israel and suddenly notified all its employees, in writing, of their immediate termination, an act taken without any prior notice. The employees were told that the company became insolvent and is unable to pay the wages it owes them.
The petition also alleges that on 3 June 2013 the company’s CEO, Avner Heissler was taken into custody by the police in Israel, due to suspicions of international fraud. According to the employees’ allegations, just prior to his arrest, Heissler attempted to remove from the corporate office numerous bags filled with cash in foreign currency and that he tried to run away from the offices, as the police was closing in on him.
The complaint further states that, pursuant to a request by Interpol, Israel Police conducted an investigation of the CEO as well as other stockholder of the company, had the CEO arrested and seized tens of thousands of euro and similar sums in dollars. The CEO was later released from jail and placed under house arrest, according to petitioner’s allegations.
Finally, the employees assert that their legal rights were violated and that the damages they suffered amount to hundreds of thousands of shekels; that they arrived in Israel based after having been approached by the company, which implored them to immigrate to the country and work for it. The vast majority of these employees does not speak Hebrew and were promised employment that is done exclusively in French. Accordingly, these individuals, the petition avers, will now find it exceedingly difficult to secure employment in Israel.