Europe

Israel says con men stole millions from global companies

  • Israeli police say this building served as the headquarters of an international scam operation that duped global companies out of more than $10 million, in the coastal city of Netanya, Israel, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The police said they have busted a new crime ring in which French and Italian immigrants posed as company executives to bilk millions of dollars from dozens of multinational giants, including Kia Motors, Hugo Boss and Chanel. The case suggests that the so-called fake CEO scam is still thriving in Israel, where Gilbert Chikli, the man widely credited with inventing it continues to evade French attempts to arrest him. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    Israeli police say this building served as the headquarters of an international scam operation that duped global companies out of more than $10 million, in the coastal city of Netanya, Israel, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The police said they have busted a new crime ring in which French and Italian immigrants posed as company executives to bilk millions of dollars from dozens of multinational giants, including Kia Motors, Hugo Boss and Chanel. The case suggests that the so-called fake CEO scam is still thriving in Israel, where Gilbert Chikli, the man widely credited with inventing it continues to evade French attempts to arrest him. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -- In this March 28, 2016 file photo, Gilbert Chikli, 50, poses for a photo at his home in Ashdod, Israel. Israeli police said they have busted a new crime ring in which French and Italian immigrants posed as company executives to bilk millions of dollars from dozens of multinational giants, including Kia Motors, Hugo Boss and Chanel. The case suggests that the so-called fake CEO scam is still thriving in Israel, where Chikli, the man widely credited with inventing it continues to evade French attempts to arrest him. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

    FILE -- In this March 28, 2016 file photo, Gilbert Chikli, 50, poses for a photo at his home in Ashdod, Israel. Israeli police said they have busted a new crime ring in which French and Italian immigrants posed as company executives to bilk millions of dollars from dozens of multinational giants, including Kia Motors, Hugo Boss and Chanel. The case suggests that the so-called fake CEO scam is still thriving in Israel, where Chikli, the man widely credited with inventing it continues to evade French attempts to arrest him. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- in this March 28, 2016 file photo, Gilbert Chikli, 50, poses for a photo at his home in Ashdod, Israel. Israeli police said they have busted a new crime ring in which French and Italian immigrants posed as company executives to bilk millions of dollars from dozens of multinational giants, including Kia Motors, Hugo Boss and Chanel. The case suggests that the so-called fake CEO scam is still thriving in Israel, where Chikli, the man widely credited with inventing it continues to evade French attempts to arrest him. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

    FILE- in this March 28, 2016 file photo, Gilbert Chikli, 50, poses for a photo at his home in Ashdod, Israel. Israeli police said they have busted a new crime ring in which French and Italian immigrants posed as company executives to bilk millions of dollars from dozens of multinational giants, including Kia Motors, Hugo Boss and Chanel. The case suggests that the so-called fake CEO scam is still thriving in Israel, where Chikli, the man widely credited with inventing it continues to evade French attempts to arrest him. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)  (The Associated Press)

An Israeli lawyer says authorities have decided to issue indictments against suspects on charges of participating in a scam in which they allegedly duped multinational companies out of millions of dollars by posing as corporate executives.

Defense lawyer Liya Felus said a judge ruled that a formal indictment would be issued Wednesday. Eight suspects have been arrested in the case, but Felus said she did not know how many would be indicted.

The defendants are accused of calling companies in Europe, identifying themselves as senior executives and instructing them to transfer large sums of money to bank accounts they controlled.

The tactic, used by various criminals worldwide and known as the "Fake-CEO scam," is believed to have cost companies $1.8 billion in two years.