In the bizarre but continuing legal case of Aviv Talmor, former owner of the UTrade Retail FX and algo trading brand, Mr. Talmor has been sent (back) to jail for a second 14 day term after producing a “grocery list” in court which showed that he was not working to repay bankruptcy debts, as was agreed.
Under a 2016 bankruptcy plan for UTrade, Talmor was to make monthly payments of NIS 3,500 (USD $1,000) to the insolvency fund – a small drop in the bucket considering that it is suspected that more than $12 million of investors’ money had gone missing from UTrade. Aviv Talmor was jailed in late May after a court proceeding determined that Talmor had indeed paid virtually none of the required money into the fund over the past two years.
Given another chance in court last week, Israeli business news source Calcalist reports that Mr. Talmor was asked by the judge to empty his pockets and to place the contents on the judge’s desk.
Talmor obeyed the order and (among other things) placed a sheet of paper with a handwritten list on the table. He called the list a document he wrote for himself, “to map out my problems.”
When the Judge read the list she began to ask Talmor a series of questions based on what was written down:
What is a credit card, allowance and a small fund?
Talmor explained that allowance is the food he eats outside the home, and the small fund is money for taxis: Talmor states that his wife controls the cash register, and that he occasionally takes NIS 50 ($14) to take the bus.
What is a fee to the mediator NIS 1,500 ($410)? What is a payment to Italy for 500 euros?
Talmor explained that these payments were to a professor in Rome who helped him in a legal proceeding.
The judge did not understand what other items on the list meant:
A bed-and-breakfast once a month for the whole family, times two or three nights long – that’s a big problem.
Talmor explained that when he visits extended family he does not join because there is no place to sleep. “I thought that if we took a cottage then it would be nice.”
Galaxy 8, what is it?
“Phone. Today I have 4 or 5. It’s broken, I’d love to buy it,” said Talmor.
What is a car, parking, fuel and managers’ insurance?
Talmor answered: “If I get a management job, I would be happy to have my own car, that’s one of my dreams.”
And what is the renewal of compulsory motor insurance?
“I paid the insurance with the credit card in installments,” Talmor replied.
What is a carpenter working at home?
Talmor stated “We have a house full of renovations that need to be done.”
After the bizarre conversation between the judge and Talmor finally ended, the bankruptcy administrators offered that it was quite obvious that Talmor did not internalize the proceedings and his need to cooperate, and that all of his conduct shows that he is thinking only about his personal needs. His actions showed that he thinks of a fitness coach, a laptop for his son, a cottage in the north, a major renovation of the house, but he does not understand that he has to repay debts to creditors estimated at more than NIS 2 million.
The judge then ordered Talmor to be sentenced to a further 14 days in prison.