Former Liberman adviser probed in money-laundering scheme


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A former media adviser to Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is being investigated in a major money-laundering scheme.

Israel Police are looking at Michael Falkov as part of their probe into a plot involving 30 senior officials, many from Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

Falkov disappeared in Ukraine about six months ago, and his passport was found with a charred body in Ukraine in August, according to a Russian report. Other reports say he faked his death.

Investigators reportedly believe that the IzRus Russian-language website, which is partly owned by Falkov and based in Israel, is the main conduit for the laundered funds. They claim that Yisrael Beiteinu officials, including lawmaker Faina Kirshenbaum, assisted in making the deals in exchange for favorable coverage on the site, which is popular with Russian-speaking Israelis.

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