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American Pie: New US-Israeli Crime Ring Details Revealed

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JERUSALEM — Israeli police said Monday that they had broken up an Israeli-American crime ring specializing in tax fraud and money laundering in an operation codenamed "American Pie."

Police said a joint investigation with U.S. authorities led to the arrest in Israel of seven suspects, some of them American citizens, with further arrests likely.

The suspects defrauded the U.S. internal revenue of tens of millions of dollars and deposited the money in Israeli bank accounts, according to the police statement.

Detectives told reporters that the chief suspect was 62-year-old Marvin Berkowitz who holds dual Israeli and U.S. citizenship.

They said he obtained personal details of inmates in U.S. prisons and then used the data to falsify claims for income tax refunds in their names for the period before their arrests.

Berkowitz and his alleged accomplices are being held on charges of money laundering, fraud, forgery and a number of tax offenses.

In late July, U.S. authorities arrested over 40 people in New Jersey in a separate corruption case that included charges of laundering money through Israeli charities.

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