Israel’s Promedis GM and 6 Doctors Arrested for Issuing 1 000’s of Fraudulent Medical Cannabis Prescriptions to the “Highest Bidder”!
Police arrested 11 people, including the GM of Israel’s medical group Promedis and six doctors, who are alleged to have issued thousands of medical cannabis licenses “without justification”. Those arrested are out on bail, but now a row is erupting over how the affected medical patients are going to continue getting their medication or how they are going to get their money back.
Promedis GM Sivan Gal Shalom is being investigated for being the head of a “ponzi scheme” involving the issuing of thousands of permits for medical cannabis in Israel without following due process.
Shalom is under house arrest after being one of 11 people arrested on 5 December 2022 after Israeli investigators believed they had enough evidence to prove there was a major medical cannabis scam underway.
Police say that up to 17 million shekels may have been forked out by thousands of Israeli medical cannabis patients who believed they were part of a legitimate medical cannabis service. Promedis allegedly offered patients renewed certificates and higher quantities of cannabis at higher price points, which police say is illegal. Police also believe Promedis prescriptions were being used to deliver cannabis to illegal dealers who then sold product on for a profit.
Promedis has described itself as the “Israeli center for the exercise of medical cannabis rights”. Shalom’s mother, Menes Ziona, is the 100% owner of Promedis.
Shalom has maintained her innocence and says all patients will be refunded pending the outcome of investigations but accuses police of preventing her from accessing bank accounts and therefore cannot return funds to the patients. At this stage, she told the Times of Israel, she does not have a medical solution for patients who are "stuck" in the middle of the process.
The Middle East Monitor said the Cybercrime Unit under Lahav 433 began an undercover investigation into doctors and other suspects last year with the help of the Tax Authority and the state prosecutor's office.
"The investigation revealed that some of the suspects advertised online and via the Telegram social media platform, a service for the sale of medical cannabis licences, which arrived to their customers within 24 hours and without the requirement to produce a medical history record," the statement said.
Eran Shefi, chief of the Cybercrime Unit of Lahav 433, said: "Undercover investigation discovered a network of doctors and brokers who worked to illegally issue licences in exchange for thousands of shekels per licence."
The customers used the permits to obtain medical marijuana from authorised pharmacies.