Israeli police have concluded a two-year investigation into a prominent local investor and startup founder, accusing him of orchestrating four digital asset scams and defrauding $290 million from investors. The police have recommended that Israeli prosecutors file charges of fraud, money laundering, theft, forgery, and tax evasion against Hogeg.
Hogeg, known for his involvement in various startups in Israel, including the now-defunct Mobli photo-sharing app, has raised millions of dollars from notable figures such as Carlos Slim and Leonardo DiCaprio. He is also the owner of Beitar Jerusalem FC, a renowned soccer club in Israel. Hogeg gained international recognition as one of the founders of a startup that claimed to develop the world’s first fully blockchain-powered smartphone. The company raised $158 million in 2017 with endorsements from soccer star Lionel Messi.
Israeli police allege that Hogeg and his associates operated an elaborate scam through their startups. The investigation involved interrogating 180 individuals, conducting numerous searches, and seizing 900 pieces of evidence. The police have shared their findings with the prosecutors, who will decide whether to pursue the case.
Hogeg was initially arrested in 2021 for his involvement in the scams but was later released and placed under house arrest. Despite the charges, Hogeg remains active in the digital asset space. He is currently associated with TomiNet, a “decentralized alternative internet network” that he claims to have co-founded. Hogeg recently stated on Twitter that he continues to serve as an advisor and investor in the project.