Dan Gertler has many enemies and many problems. But being his friend is no better. In 2002 David Rafaelov was convicted of smuggling huge amounts of uncut diamonds from Russia to Israel.
On March 9, 2004, he died in a Russian prison, the very day he was issued a pardon by President Putin.
In 2006 his widow began suing diamond tycoon Gertler for NIS 100 million (USD $28,000,000), claiming Gertler was responsible for her husband’s imprisonment.
According to his family, Rafaelov served for many years as Gertler’s man in Moscow and as his emissary in diamond deals.
In 2001 he was arrested by the Russian authorities and interrogated over a period of months on suspicion of smuggling raw diamonds out of Russia while committing acts of fraud.
In 2002 he was convicted and sentenced to eight years.
In their verdict, the Russian judges wrote that Rafaelov “joined the participants in a criminal conspiracy with the objective of running an illegal ring of natural gemstones -‐(diamonds) within Russia, smuggling them, causing damage to the assets of the Russian State-‐Federation and to the Alrosa diamond company, and of stealing a foreign asset for the purpose of obtaining illegal profits.”
Simply put, Rafaelov had been Gertler’s man in Russia responsible for smuggling rough diamonds out of the country on his behalf to Israel. For this Gertler is still subject to arrest and wanted by the Russian authorities, all these years later.
Having such serious problems with the Kremlin would make most people keep a low profile and stay out of trouble but Gertler clearly likes problems.
Just as if he did not have enough to worry about with the Och Ziff affair, these ongoing problems with the Russian government, an arrest warrant from the US Department of Justice and the UK Serious Fraud Office for his links to the ENRC affair and the constant scrutiny by various NGOs (such as the well respected Global Witness group) outing him as a corrupt, conflict diamond dealing supporter of African despots…
He is even listed on one website entitled “5 Real Life Evil Billionaires”! So in addition to all this, he has decided to manipulate and abuse the London judicial system to attack a business rival.
For the last few years Gertler has been fighting in the Israeli arbitration court with the Gertner brothers, Moises and Mendi. Gertler was represented by his loyal consigliere, Yaakov Weinroth, who has in the past not been without his own problems.
However, thanks to revelations ona new website, http://purifyingafrica.blogspot.co.il/2016/11/exposing-‐african-‐mafia-‐and-‐corruption.html it seems that Gertler is using his favored unconventional techniques to attack the Gertner brothers. The story goes like this (get ready for some details).
In June 2008 a company affiliated with Moises Gertner received a loan from UK registered company CFL Finance Limited (then known as Cable Finance Ltd).
Gertner gave his personal guarantee on this loan.
In 2011 an agreement was reached on the repayment schedule for this loan, and most of the loan was repaid. By July 2013, the outstanding amount was less than £500,000, significantly less than the original loan amount.
Over the next two years the Gertner brothers did not have the means to repay this final amount, after many repayments with a very high interest rate, and as Gertler had taken their money. However, they reached an agreement with CFL who agreed to wait for the remainder.
However, in September 2015, CFL suddenly called in the remaining debt, despite their agreement with the Gertners.
This is where the plot thickens, as they say.
It appears that also in September 2015, a company called Colosseum Consulting Limited (another UK registered company, owned by one Stuart Simon Harris), and acting on behalf of Gertler, entered into an agreement with CFL to pursue Moises Gertner for this debt.
Interestingly, Harris has links to rogue Israeli hacking company Blackcube, whose recent record includes having employees imprisoned in Romania.
So in accordance with this agreement Gertler agreed to finance the costs of the proceedings to recover the money from Gertner. Interestingly, another of Gertler’s Israeli lawyers – Dori Klagsbald – is also the ‘representative’ of Colosseum Consulting. Klagsbald was locked up in Israel 11 years ago for causing death by negligent driving.
So based on this agreement, CFL launched bankruptcy proceedings against Gertner in the UK, despite rejecting a better offer of repayment to settle (from a third party) and knowing that Gertner actually lacked the funds to settle the debt independently.
The sole purpose of these proceedings was therefore to attack and bankrupt Moises Gertner; the case made no legal or commercial sense in any other context.
But, critically, Gertler could not be seen to be manipulating these proceedings.
However, his involvement is made clear by a number of emails contained on the website listed above. Get ready for more details…
On November 18, 2015, Hannah Blom-‐Cooper, a partner at big London law firm Mishcon de Reya, sent an email to two Milbank Tweed lawyers, Nick Angel and Matthew Czyzyk, both members of the Financial Restructuring Group. Blom-‐Cooper is a ‘Legal Director’ who specializesin insolvency.
Milbank Tweed represent an offshore company called Arrowsmith, which in turn is part of Gertler’s main corporate vehicle, the Fleurette Group.
The contents of the email are intended to update Gertler about the progress of the CFL proceedings against Moises Gertner. Attached to the mail is a document which is a draft ‘Confidentiality & Transfer of Information Agreement’ between Colosseum, CFL, Arrowsmith and Fleurette.
The subject of the document is the case against Gertner and covers agreements for the sharing of information about the case between all four parties named above.
It is quite clear from this email that Gertler sits fully behind the attack on Gertner. It reads as follows:
In order to fund the Enforcement, CFL entered into a litigation funding agreement (the LFA) with Colosseum whereby Colosseum agreed to provide funding in respect of the costs and expenses of enforcing the debt owed to CFL by Mr. Gertner pursuant to the Settlement Agreement (the CFL Debt).”
It is clear from this that LFA had been signed by Fleurette, which sits fully behind CFL.
The document continues: “Mr. Gertner owes debts (the Other Debts) to various other parties (the Creditors) and Arrowsmith and Fleurette have approached various Creditors in respect of discussing the possibility of acquiring the benefit of their claims against Mr. Gertner (the Proposed Debt acquisition).”
In addition: “…the parties have agreed to provide each other with certain confidential information in accordance with the terms of this Deed.” So we clearly see Gertler approaching the other creditors of Gertner to acquire the debt (and the leverage) that these debts carry.
And all this is done through Colosseum, a Gertler entity, whose contact person is…Dori Klagsbald. Gertler was directly instructing the lawyers working for CFL in the London proceedings.
On November 20, 2015, an email was sent from Mishcon de Reya (CFL’s representatives) to Klagsbald attaching a proposal from Gertner to settlethe debt with CFL.
Mishcon lawyers were clearly seeking guidance from Klagsbald (and therefore from Gertler).
Gertler was also orchestrating a ‘black PR’ campaign against Gertner, again using well established London companies. Three days after the above email, on November 23, a further email was sent from Czyzyk (of Milbank Tweed, representing Arrowsmith) to Mishcon (representing CFL), to Klagsbald (representing Gertlerand Colosseum), and to James Levy of Hassans law firm in Gibraltar, another Gertler lawyer and President of Fleurett.
This mail refers explicitly to the leaking of information concerning the Gertner bankruptcy proceedings.
The mail refers to a ‘public relations’ strategy against Gertner mixing both the London bankruptcy proceedings and Israeli arbitration proceedings.
Under the heading ‘PR Campaign’ the mail sates: “Dori to circulate copies of articles in Israeli press regarding arbitration proceedings.” “Make calls to journalist and other interested parties (lawyers or creditors etc.) regarding the Kaupthing/Gertner story.”
Dori and Milbank met with Jonathan Russell of Lacing Ltd, also on the afternoon of 23 November, to discuss PR strategy. Jonathan suggested a two stage approach:
The first stage is to call journalists to create interest in the Kaupthing/Gertner story. The timing works well as Kaupthing is back in the media with its forthcoming composition.
– The second stage (if deemed necessary) is to filter (to the same journalists) the story regarding Arrowsmith’s offer.” “James and Milbank to update Maitland (Andy Donald) and Oren Lubow (FPL) on the proposed PR strategy, and to ensure that Jonathan coordinates with Andy and Oren.”
For the record, Lacing Ltd is run by Russell, a former journalist and investigator for Alaco, a London corporate intelligence firm; Lubow is a high ranking employee of Fleurette Properties Ltd (FPL); and Donald is a consultant and former government adviser with Maitland, the high-‐end PR company. So, it is unequivocal.
Gertler is behind the attacks on Gertner and as per his usual methodology, he is using so-‐called upright law firms and PR advisers to his bidding.