The Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday sentenced an investment schemer known as the "Israeli Madoff" to 12 years in prison for embezzling 16 million U.S. dollars from his victims.
In addition to his prison term, the 41-year-old Eran Mizrahi, an investment advisor, was fined with 83,000 U.S. dollars and will pay each of his victims 71,600 dollars in compensation.
Mizrahi, an investment advisor, was convicted in April on 84 counts of embezzlement, 101 counts of forgery, money laundering and theft he committed between 2007 and 2012.
According to the indictment filed against him, the defendant told his clients that their investments are bearing fruit and kept pushing them to invest more funds, while making use of their money for private purposes such as buying a luxurious house, cars and going on fancy trips abroad.
He has also invested some of the funds in illegal manners, according to the indictment.
At times, he gave money to his clients with funds received by other clients. However, eventually, he couldn't cover up and return all his losses.
Following his arrest, he said that he did not mean to scam his clients but rather failed in the investments he made on their behalf.
During his trial, several of his victims unfolded their accounts of how they lost their savings due to Mizrahi's scams.
"The defendant's victims, some of whom elderly people, spent the rest of what they had which they had saved for a rainy day," Judge Zvi Gurfinkel wrote in his sentencing.
"The punishment is aimed at deterring future scammers, on behalf of the public's interest," he added.
Mizrahi's lawyer, Attorney Menachem Rubinstein, said he intends to appeal the sentencing to the Supreme Court.