Telit CEO leaves after links emerge to decades-old fraud

Lloyd Doyle
August 14, 2017

The chief executive of Telit Communications, an Aim-listed company which makes technology for the "internet of things", has resigned amid allegations of links to fraud in the USA in 1992.

Telit said it was a "source of considerable anger" that the "historical indictment against Oozi Cats was never disclosed to them or previous members of the board and that they have only been made aware of its existence through third parties".

In 1992, a man named "Uzi Katz" was indicted by Boston's district courts on counts of wire fraud, and a warrant issued for his arrest.

Telit also responded to "speculation" over its involvement in a bankruptcy being investigated by Italian authorities, adding any action against the company would be "without merit".

Katz, along with his wife, Ruth, were indicted in the U.S. and fled the country before a plea hearing, after they were accused of taking out mortgages on properties with inflated values to sell them for a profit, according to the Financial Times.

Reports emerged last week linking Cats, an Israeli citizen, to a fugitive of justice with a similar name - Uzi Katz - from the early 1990s.

Mr Cats is one of the founders of the business which he has led since 2000.

Telit listed in London in 2005 after a company called Dai Israel bought the assets of an Italian business in 2002. Telit is a supplier to Tesla, the electric vehicle maker.

The AIM-listed company said following a review it found evidence showing that an "indictment was issued against Oozi Cats in the United States and that this fact was knowingly withheld from advisers".

The company saw its share price plummet 40 percent last week after initial reports of Cats' misdemeanours surfaced, but it rose rose 12 percent on news of Cats' departure. Financial director Yosi Fait will continue as the interim chief executive and three independent non-executive directors will be appointed to the board.

Telit insisted it will "move on from this hard situation", with Fait undertaking a a preliminary review of the company's activities and cost base.

The update came as the company moved to quash reports calling into question its "financial condition".

He took a leave of absence last Tuesday following a board meeting, and Telit has now confirmed he has stepped down and ended his employment with the company.

Shares in Telit rose almost 15% to 142p on Monday morning, but still remain well below the 182p level the shares were at before the allegations about Mr Cats emerged.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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