BNP Paribas accused of anti-Semitism, violating Israeli anti-terrorism laws and committing forgery

Tel Aviv, Israel, 11 July 2017 – Ruth Agam, an Israeli national, filed a lawsuit against BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, in the Tel Aviv District court, adding claims of fraud and deception to a host of other criminal allegations against the firm as well as anti-Semitic behaviour. Ms. Agam’s lawsuit accuses BNP of making her a victim of the bank’s misconduct including criminal activity such as forgery, fraud, and operating in Israel without a valid Israeli banking license.

The lawsuit accuses BNP of forging and manipulating documents as well as fabricating purportedly ‘signed’ documents that Ms. Agam states she never saw or signed. The lawsuit accuses the bank of manufacturing documents and thereafter using those documents to perform actions without her consent, resulting in substantial financial losses to Ms. Agam. The lawsuit accuses BNP of breaching explicit and express statutory duties under Israeli banking laws as well as committing several other criminal offences.
The lawsuit alleges serious anti-Semitic behaviour by the bank and its employees, and refers to BNP’s recent reported $40mn settlement with a Jewish employee who raised concerns about training materials which featured anti-Semitic content.

Recent controversies involving the French bank include being found guilty in 2014 of criminal charges in the US in connection with illegal financial transactions and was hit with a $8.9 billion fine. In her lawsuit, Ms. Agam also asserts a series of examples relating to BNP’s worldwide misconduct against the Jewish people in general, and the State of Israel. Furthermore, a recent complaint filed in France, against BNP by three human rights groups, accused the bank of war crimes and complicity in the Rwandan genocide of 1994, by providing finance to armed militias.

Adam Levitt, partner, US law firm, DiCello Levitt & Casey, who represents the Agam Family, said: “My client’s lawsuit is against an organisation that demonstrates a broader pattern of BNP’s global unlawfulness and its ongoing litany of poor choices, each one of which finds BNP siding with and supporting terrorist movements and hate groups around the world. These groups and countries advocate and promote the eradication of both the United States and the State of Israel.”

Dr. Yossi Cohen, a partner of the Tel Aviv-based law firm and Ms. Agam’s Israeli counsel said, “In my many years of experience, this case stands out due to its allegations of the extraordinary crimes and injustices BNP committed. Based on the evidence and testimony we have, and which we will present to the Court, BNP left no stone unturned to defraud and inflict significant damage upon my client- partially due to her faith and partially for its own greed.”

Ms. Agam has received many letters of support in her actions against BNP from Israel Members of Parliament MK Yehudah Glick, MK Aliza Lavie and MK Mordechai Yogev and Israeli Deputy Minister of Defence. Support has also been received from Member of the European Parliament, Lord William Dartmouth. The Israeli organisation for terrorist victims, Almagor, due to terrorist admission and convictions in the USA, has recently condemned BNP and consequently is demanding the Israeli Attorney General to enforce Israeli criminal and anti-terror law against the bank.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Luke Chauveau, Bell Pottinger
Nikhita Sethi, Bell Pottinger

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