Another Israeli corruption scandal has honed in on another billionaire.
According to Haaretz, an inquiry into Interior Minister Arye Deri’s finances by police has led to the questioning of Michael Mirilashvili, a Russian-Israeli billionaire. Mirilashvili funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Mifalot Simha, a charity suspected to have siphoned off funds to Deri, who has previously served time in prison for corruption.
Mirilashvili and his family have made a fortune through a diversified portfolio that has included stakes in Israeli energy companies, the Russian social media site VKontakte and an international diamond venture. He also owns Israel’s Channel 20, which focuses on “Jewish heritage” programming.
This isn’t Mirilashvili’s first brush with trouble. He previously served eight years in prison for the kidnapping of his father, a prominent leader of Georgia’s Jews, an event that roiled the international Jewish press.