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13 Nov, 2018 12:21

Convicted counterfeiters ordered to pay damages to Bank of Israel for… copyright infringement

Convicted counterfeiters ordered to pay damages to Bank of Israel for… copyright infringement

Two people already convicted for their roles in a counterfeit ring in Israel have been ordered by a court to also pay damages to Bank of Israel… because printing your own 200-shekel notes apparently violates copyright.

The two unappreciated artists, Roi Bar-Eitan and Jacob Mursiano, were busted last year along with five other people involved in a counterfeiting ring in the city of Ashkelon, according to Israeli media. They were successfully prosecuted and convicted for faking IDs, driver’s licenses, bank checks, and bank notes.

But in May, the Bank of Israel decided to file a civil lawsuit against the duo and demanded they cover damages done by their enterprise. The lawsuit argued that they infringed on the bank’s copyright which protect 200-shekel notes.

The case was heard in late October and the court agreed that the two defendants must pay 400,000 shekels ($108,000) in damages. This week, Bar-Eitan’s lawyer contacted the bank and negotiated a deal to reduce the claim against him to 150,000 shekels ($40,000) in exchange for not contesting the ruling. Mursiano is still liable for half of the full sum, but may appeal.

In the criminal case each counterfeiter was ordered to pay a fine of 28,000 shekels ($7,500) each and sentenced to several years in prison. State prosecutors said they welcomed this first-of-its-kind way to impose extra punishment on white collar criminals through a civilian suit.

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