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Supreme Court backs U.S. extradition of 7 Israelis suspected of scamming pensioners

Supreme Court backs U.S. extradition of 7 Israelis suspected of scamming pensioners The Jerusalem District Court last October ruled that the suspects could be arrested, leading the seven to take their case to the higher court; the suspects face up to 20 years in U.S. prison.

By Yaniv Kubovich and Haaretz Service

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that seven Israelis suspected of conning dozens of American pensioners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars should be extradited to the United States. In rejecting the suspects’ appeal, the court has paved the way for them to be tried in the U.S., where they face up to 20 years in prison.

The Jerusalem District Court last October ruled that the suspects in the advanced-fee fraud could be arrested, leading the seven to take their case to the higher court.

The seven, arrested by Tel Aviv police in July 2009, had been charged by American prosecutors for a serious of legal violations, including conspiracy to commit fraud. Some of the defendants also face money laundering charges.

The defendants are suspected of building a sophisticated crime network to defraud elderly American pensioners. Over four years, the network netted mass profit in ill-gotten gains.

The defendants, all in their 20s and 30s, allegedly phoned American pensioners, told them they had won the lottery and asked them for a fee of several thousand dollars for the transfer of the prize money, which in fact never existed.

The investigation that uncovered the network was conducted in conjunction between Israeli and U.S. law enforcement agencies.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/supreme-court-backs-u-s-extradition-of-7-israelis-suspected-of-scamming-pensioners-1.314972

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