Crypto mogul Moshe Hogeg was detained on Thursday by Israel Police on suspicion of fraud, sex offenses, providing alcohol to minors, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Hogeg is the Israeli crypto entrepreneur behind the blockchain smartphone business Sirin Labs and a slew of other crypto startups. He is the Chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute at Tel Aviv University, and Chairman of Singulariteam Technology Group, is also owning the biggest professional soccer team BeitarJerusalem.
His detention was extended till Wednesday by the Magistrate Court in Rishon LeZion.
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Investigators from the police department raided his house, office, and the Beitar Jerusalem training center, seizing laptops and papers. Hogeg was arrested together with seven other people, including Hogeg’s past and current partners or workers. The accusations of cryptocurrency fraud totaling hundreds of millions of shekels
CoinDesk investigation from 2019 claimed suspicions of financial malfeasance have been leveled against Hogeg for years. “A looked more closely at a series of lawsuits filed against Hogeg, the man behind unsuccessful initial coin offers (ICOs) such as Stox and Leadcoin.” the website says.
According to a former employee at one of Hogeg’s enterprises who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “we all heard whispers” about Hogeg but few interacted with him directly.
“Every payday, when the money would really show up in my bank account, it was a big relief,” the former employee said. “When the company inevitably collapsed, none of us were surprised.”
Hogeg was sued for $6 million in unpaid Sirin Labs payments in 2020. Earlier this year, two of Hogeg’s boyhood pals and former workers sued him for 18 million new Israeli shekels (about $5.8 million) in unpaid debts from failed investments. According to the Times of Israel, Hogeg abruptly decided to put Beitar Jerusalem up for sale in September, alleging “racist fans” after failing to sell half of the team to an Arab investor.
A document circulating on the internet and seen by CoinDesk outlines 15 accusations against Hogeg, including conspiracy to commit crime, fabricating company data, and a number of sexual assault violations. An Israeli model accused Hogeg of sexually assaulting her when she was 17 years old in early November. According to the Times of Israel, Hogeg disputed the charges and said that the model’s claims were part of a smear campaign.
In a statement, Hogeg’s lawyer stated that the charges against his client were made in the past by those who wanted to hurt him.
“Hogeg denies the claims and is fully cooperating with the investigation,” according to the lawyer. “We are confident that he will be vindicated of these bogus allegations in the end.”
The soccer club stated that Hogeg’s concerns have nothing to do with the team or the club’s activities.