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Friday, February 08, 2008

How to make a million dollars

Want to make a million dollars? According to a report on Channel 2 television last night, all you have to do is come up with evidence that's sufficient to force Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert to resign as Prime Minister.
The report featured a recording of a conversation between an unnamed businessman and a private investigator hired to garner the information.

The investigator asked the businessman if he had information that could incriminate Olmert.

"In the beginning you may be a bit put off, but think about it, you don't have to give me an answer now," the investigator told the businessman. "A number of senior personages on a global level are behind this initiative. The situation today is that Olmert is bad for the Jews. You know no less than me that he's very bad for the Jews.

And there is a group of people who have taken upon themselves [to oust him from power], very wealthy people - on a global level."

When the businessman asked who these people were, the investigator answered: "Good Jews, and I have been sent to take care of the matter and try to remove this person [Olmert] from where he is. There is a large jackpot involved."

"I am more interested in the ideology than the jackpot," the businessman replied.

"Then you are better than I thought," the investigator said. "I wanted to interest you in both the jackpot and the ideology. I am trying to find material in all different places; that Olmert received bribes, that he deceived."

"How much parnasa [livelihood] is involved?" the businessman asked.

"If we did a good job, one million dollars," the investigator said, and explained what a good job would be: "If we caused someone in the state prosecution or the police or the media to say: 'With this we're bringing him down,' Olmert is going down, he's going home - that's good enough."
If I had the evidence, I would have gone to the police a long time ago, even without the reward.

One blogger thinks he has the evidence to bring Olmert down.
An appointment was arranged in Olmert's Jerusalem office. It was a disillusioning experience. Olmert's pitch was that he could easily expedite the required license--and most likely arrange for government grants and low interest loans to support the project--if he was (a) retained as company counsel, and (b) given a piece of the action--i.e. substantial equity in the US-based company, which was a candidate for a public offering in the US or Israel. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange was booming back then.
What he doesn't mention is that Olmert was already a Knesset member then and had been since 1973.

Sorry, but unless there's something else you haven't disclosed in your blog, this isn't enough. Lawyers take equity in clients' businesses in lieu of fees all the time (it's technically against the bar rules, but it's not enforced, and it's unlikely anyone would be criminally prosecuted for doing it). Unfortunately, usually when a client wants to give you equity, it's because they cannot afford to pay you, and when you want equity, the client won't give it. So that's not unusual either.

And saying that Olmert could "easily expedite the license" isn't illegal either unless (a) he could grant it himself (in which case he was asking for a bribe), (b) he was a minister at the time and it could be granted by his ministry or (c) he asked you to give him money to bribe the person who had the power to grant the license. I don't see either of those scenarios in what you described. Knesset members are still allowed to practice law (whether they should be allowed to practice is a separate issue, but they are allowed to practice - or at least were allowed to practice in 1981).

If you still think you can nail him, please go ahead and try (I fear that the case may have lapsed due to the statute of limitations, but that's a separate issue. Otherwise, the only way Olmert will be ousted is if a fly on the wall when he was accepting one of his bribes decides that a million dollars is enough money to make it worth his while to talk.

It should only happen soon.


At 9:09 PM, Blogger Confidential Reporter said...

Carl, thank you for mentioning and linking to the China Confidential piece on my experience with Olmert back in 1981. Of course, there is nothing illegal about asking for equity, although top law firms in the US and Israel, with which I have worked many times, do not like to work on that basis. They don't need to and prefer a professional relationship. I don't for a minute believe this is truly significant after all these years, anyhow. The point that I was trying to make in a semi-tongue-and-cheek way, was that Olmert struck me as a sleaze. He was overly aggressive. I forgot that he was a Knesset member then, by the way. In the end, we got the license we sought without having to give or promise anyone any stock. -Confidential Reporter,
China Confidential

At 4:03 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ehud Olmert is a crooked lawyer. He's been careful enough so that no one has been able to make anything stick to him. If there are goods on him, they are probably Israel's best kept secret.


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