Court junks "unfounded request" against Vesttoo’s founders

Embattled insurtech respects dismissal but calls it "mainly procedural"

Court junks "unfounded request" against Vesttoo’s founders

Legal Insights

By Terry Gangcuangco

What co-founder and former Vesttoo chief executive Yaniv Bertele’s camp considers an “unfounded request” has been junked by Tel Aviv’s district court.

The request, which sought to seize huge sums through foreclosures on assets, was against Bertele, fellow co-founder and ex-chief financial engineer Alon Lifshitz, previous employees Udi Ginati and Joshua Rurka, and Tal Ezer who served as a finder for Vesttoo.

A CTech report said the embattled insurtech is no longer allowed to file a similar request and that the foreclosures imposed on the five individuals – all being implicated in the letters of credit fraud scandal that caused Vesttoo’s collapse – will be immediately removed, as ordered by the court.

“Unfounded request”

Commenting on the dismissal, Bertele’s lawyers Merav Bar-Zik and Tal Shapira were quoted as saying: “From the beginning, we argued that this was an unfounded request that had no place to be submitted, and we are happy that the court accepted this position in full, and ordered the deletion of the proceedings against Bertele already at this preliminary stage.”

Similarly, Lifshitz’ legal team commented: “As we believed from the beginning, the foreclosures imposed on Alon were fundamentally unfounded, since the initiators of the procedure did not present any apparent evidence against Alon. This decision also serves to anchor the property rights of the parties to the proceedings, especially in the preliminary stage where the evidence has not yet been fully clarified.”

“Mainly procedural”

Vesttoo, while it accepted the decision, argued that the development does not undermine the actual allegations of fraud against Bertele and the others.

In a statement published by CTech, Vesttoo said: “The company accepts and respects the decision of the honourable court. We are dealing with a mainly procedural decision which discusses the type of proceeding filed and the filing procedure. The decision itself does not discuss the vast and conclusive evidence that the investigation report brought up against the defendants (and soon the final investigation report will also be submitted showing all the evidence that was found), but mainly discusses the legal issue of the submission procedure.

“The decision itself does not change a thing in relation to the scope of the documented evidence found as part of the investigation. The court ruled that since the lawsuit deals with the most serious acts of fraud and forgery committed by Yaniv Bertele, Alon Lifshitz, Udi Ginti, Josh Rurke, and Tal Ezer around the world, the lawsuit should be settled in a normal civil procedure and not in a shortened and quick procedure taken by the company.”

Separately, it was previously reported that a committee of Vesttoo creditors has reached an agreement with Chaucer Group for a US$15.6 million settlement for 82.5% of the assets in a Vesttoo unit. A US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware judge approved the settlement.          

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