Supreme Court lengthens Amir Bramly’s sentence

Last week, the Supreme Court increased the severity of the sentence on Amir Bramly, owner of investment house Rubicon Business Group, who was convicted of defrauding hundreds of investors of sums totaling NIS 340 million.

Bramly’s prison sentence was lengthened from ten years to fourteen, and the fine imposed on him was raised from NIS 400,000 to NIS 600,000. The heavier sentence is unusual in two ways. First of all, appeal courts rarely impose heavier sentences than the court of first instance, and secondly the prison sentence is 40% longer than the original sentence, which is a very dramatic increase. Judges Yosef Elron, Alex Stein, and Yechiel Kasher explained that the sentence imposed in the Tel Aviv District Court in 2021 by Judge Khaled Kabub (who is now a member of the Supreme Court) was extremely light and did not reflect the severity of the crimes. They added that even with the revised sentence they had not invoked the full force of the law.

The judges said that the crimes in question had caused huge financial losses to the investors, and also damage to the capital market. They stressed that Bramly had brought ruin upon his victims and their families, and that among his investors were old people and pensioners who had saved all their lives to amass the money they had invested, which was meant to represent their only support in old age to provide them with housing, health services, and welfare, and this money had disappeared as though it had never existed. It was also pointed out that the harm went beyond financial damage, and that many of the victims of Bramly’s crimes experienced health and psychological problems, and described feelings of anxiety and depression.

As for the capital market, the judges said that the crimes “harm the public’s confidence in the capital market, and as a result diminish the incentive to invest in the market and scare potential investors away from it.” They said that they sought to send a message that would deter anyone who might seek to exploit his standing and that would prevent profiteering. They also said that it was necessary to take into account that this was a case of crimes that were difficult to uncover until it was too late. Another consideration was that at no stage did Bramly take responsibility for what he had done, and treated the accusations dismissively.

The judges were not unanimous about the degree to which the sentence should be lengthened. In a minority judgement, Judge Kasher wrote that there was no necessary connection between Bramly’s fraudulent presentations and investors’ willingness to invest with him, and that in the case of some of the money the circumstances were less severe than in the majority judgement. He therefore considered that the prison sentence should be extended to twelve years rather than fourteen.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on July 10, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

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