A US federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Thursday authorized a lawyer representing Israel to recover assets from a $150 million Ponzi scheme, believed to be the worst such scam ever carried out in the Jewish state.
The ruling is against Michael Ben-Ari, also known as Michel Greenfield, an American Israeli accused of defrauding hundreds of people in both countries in a 15-year-long scam, according to the Seiden Law Group, which is representing Israeli court-appointed trustee Lior Dagan.
Israel arrested Ben-Ari in April. But he fled the country on someone else’s passport after a judge released him to house arrest after he posted a NIS 2 million ($625,000) bond, according to the Israel Securities Authority.
ISA is also investigating one of Ben-Ari’s friends and investors, Nahum Eisenstadt, on suspicion of providing Ben-Ari with his passport to help him escape.
Ben-Ari’s current location is unknown.