Friday, August 11, 2006
Former Comverse Technology CEO Kobi Alexander was charged with conspiracy along with two other senior executives, but has not been located at this point. While a Department of Justice press release (here) notes that two brokerage accounts with $45 million of Alexander's assets have been frozen, it appears that he transferred over $57 million to accounts in Israel in what the government asserts was a money laundering scheme "in an effort to conceal the funds from U.S. authorities." The FBI has declared Alexander a fugitive, and is conducting a worldwide search.
There is certainly a good possibility that Alexander is in Israel, so it may be difficult to extradite him to the United States. An article in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz (here) quotes a local attorney who states that the extradition treaty between the countries dates back to 1963 and the alleged fraud from the options timing may not be a covered offense allowing for Alexander's return. Should Alexander return to the United States to face the charge, expect to see some fairly onerous conditions if bail is granted, which is probably unlikely. If Alexander shows up in a country that will not extradite him, then we may have a new Marc Rich, who fled to Switzerland in the face of tax evasion charges in the early 1980s. (ph)