Israeli Arrives In U.S. To Face Fraud Charges
NEW YORK (AP) _ An Israeli who was indicted by his government for allegedly defrauding two U.S. banks of $6.1 million arrived in New York from Israel and appeared before a federal magistrate Friday.
The case of Samuel Dagan marks the first time U.S. and Israeli officials have cooperated to prosecute an Israeli accused of crimes in this country, federal authorities said.
Efforts to prosecute Dagan and his wife, Miriam K. Dagan, had been hindered by an Israeli law that prevents its citizens from being extradited to stand trial for crimes committed outside Israel.
But following two years of negotiations between Israel and the U.S. authorities, Israeli authorities charged the Dagans in February with closely related charges in a 22-count indictment.
Dagan, escorted by U.S. Marshals but not handcuffed, appeared briefly before U.S. Magistrate Allyne Ross in Brooklyn Federal Court in New York City.
Dagan told Ross he understood that he was going to Hartford, Conn., to be tried there on charges of defrauding the Connecticut Bank and Trust Company and the Connecticut Savings Bank out of $6.1 million in 1987.
He declined to comment on the case, telling reporters outside the courtroom, ″I don’t want to say anything now before the trial.″
A former West Hartford resident, Dagan agreed to return to the United States voluntarily from Israel to be tried. His wife was also charged in a federal indictment but decided to remain in Israel, according to U.S. Attorney Stanley A. Twardy Jr.
The Dagans, well-known business owners and prominent members of West Hartford’s Jewish community, fled the United States in March 1988, just before a warrant was issued for their arrest.
The federal indictment, returned Aug. 23, 1988, in Hartford, charged Dagan and his wife each with one count of conspiring to defraud federally insured banks, nine counts of bank fraud and 16 counts of false statements to banks.
The couple allegedly participated in a check-kiting scheme involving accounts they had at both banks for local businesses they operated, according to the indictment.
Dagan’s lawyer, public defender Lori Levinson, advised the court Friday that Dagan recently underwent surgery and was in need of medical care.
After spending the weekend at a Hartford jail, he was scheduled to appear Monday morning before a federal magistrate in Hartford.