Arms Merchants of South Central
Did the rich and intrigue-filled Botach family get a pass from Henry Waxman?
(LA Weekly) -- by Penn Bullock --
The Botach family of Los Angeles is among the more unusual of the very rich. Yoav Botach is a wealthy landlord. He founded, and his son now owns, an arms dealership in an unsettling locale for one: South Central. And his grandson was convicted of conspiracy for peddling to the U.S. Army decomposing ammunition — so old that it was traced to the factories of Mao Tse-tung — as part of a $300 million contract to arm the Afghan government.
But what is also startling in the weird saga of this prominent L.A. family is the silence of Congressman Henry Waxman of Beverly Hills, who led a congressional investigation into the ammo fraud and vowed to get to the bottom of it.
As Waxman said, his inquiry in 2008 aimed to answer a fundamental question: How did Botach's inexperienced 21-year-old grandson Efraim Diveroli "get a sensitive, $300 million contract to supply ammunition to Afghan forces?"
Two years later, Waxman refuses to speak about it with L.A. Weekly. But with an ugly palimony suit simmering in L.A. between family patriarch Botach and his common-law wife, Judith Boteach, she's now talking. And she points to a contract that may link the South Central arms firm run by Botach's son, Bar-Kochba Botach, to the grandson's disgraced firm, AEY Inc., in Miami Beach...
Waxman's silence on Diveroli's fleecing of the Army comes as the palimony case between Boteach and Botach plays out, from Los Angeles to Israel.
In March 2006, the State of Israel accused Botach's brother and business partner in L.A., Shlomo Botach, of "using professional money launderers" to transfer $860,000 from the U.S. through Swiss and Uruguayan banks to an account in Israel, code-named "Ezra 26." The court case covered transfers totaling $331,000.
In court documents translated from Hebrew for the Weekly, Shlomo stated he was moving the money to Israel so that Judith Boteach couldn't access it during the palimony dispute.
But the State of Israel alleged that the money was wired in small batches so that it could be slipped past authorities...
It may be that L.A. politicians worry about their relationships with wealthy arms merchants and landowners. In 2006, the L.A. Daily News reported that Botach co-owns the South Central arms firm — and 144 commercial properties across L.A.
"Some are restaurants, garages, buildings where they manufacture clothes," Boteach says. "A lot of them are small businesses, and some are apartment buildings."
She says that Botach lives in Waxman's 30th Congressional District, and that her estranged husband wields influence with politicians. "[Yoav] supports a lot of the City Council members and the governor. There were special lunches, dinners and fund-raisers."
The connections could be seen last year, when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council President Eric Garcetti attended the Beverly Hills launch of the star-studded charity Turn Friday Night Into Family Night, founded by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the former spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson...MORE...LINK
Democrat U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman of Beverly Hills: running interference for Jewish organized crime preying upon U.S. government, no less?
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