Our agency conducts investigations to locate legal heirs. Several years ago a man from the former USSR submitted a request to release the estate of a childless woman who had passed away. The investigation we conducted revealed the real family tree.
fictitious heirs
x דיווח על תקלה
תאור תקלה:
דואר אלקטרוני:

  Contact Us
Call us: 03-5446363

Fictitious Heirs


A strong stench greeted those entering an apartment building on Frishman Street in Tel Aviv.  “What’s that strange smell?” Mr. Benyamin asked his neighbor. “I don’t know, I’ve never smelled anything like it”, the neighbor answered. “The smell is familiar to me. It smells to me like a corpse”, Mr. Benyamin responded.

The two exchanged silent, embarrassed glances and looked in the direction of Ms. Israeli’s ground floor apartment.  Knocks on her door were unanswered.  The door was locked.  The worst possible scenario began to seem more likely.

The neighbors decided to take initiative and called the police immediately. The apartment door was broken down. The police officers and ambulance representatives broke in. Ms. Israeli lay lifeless on her bed, and the doctor declared her death. The apartment was declared and marked as a crime scene. The body was taken to Abu Kabir in order to determine the cause of death.  After an autopsy, the pathologist determined that she died a natural death.

The police efforts to locate Ms. Israeli’s relatives in order to inform them of her death and have them identify the body resulted in the discovery that she was a childless 85 year old woman who had never married. A great deal of property, cash, jewelry, ritual items, and valuable artworks were found in her apartment, but no will was found.

What was to be done with the great deal of property found in the deceased’s apartment? Who should be approached, considering the absence of a will?

According to the laws of the state of Israel, when no heirs are found in such circumstances then the estate of the deceased is managed by the General Legal Executor of the Legal Department until it can be released to legal heirs or someone who can claim ownership to the bequeathed property. The names of the estate owners are widely published, and those who claim ownership rights due to their status as legal heirs are invited to approach the office of the General Legal Executor in order to prove their entitlement and receive the estate.

In the winter of 2003, Dimitri Koznitsov (fabricated name) found out about Mrs. Israeli’s estate.  Without thinking it through, Dimitri decided that this was a golden opportunity to make some easy money. He headed towards the office of the General Legal Executor in Tel Aviv, not far from where he lived, and filed a request to receive the bequeathed assets due to his status as an allegedly legal heir.

The request was examined by the Department for Management and Discovery of Property, and the examiners suspected the truthfulness and reliability of the request. The General Legal Executor decided that it would be appropriate to conduct a private investigation regarding Dimitri’s request to receive the estate. The General Legal Executor appointed our agency to conduct the required investigation.

Undercover investigations that we conducted revealed that Dimitri worked as a security guard at a construction site in Yad Eliahu. His wife worked as an editor for the Russian newspaper, “Westie”. In his application Dimitri declared that he had previously worked as a tour guide in the Ukraine, where he lived before immigrating to Israel ten years ago.

The team of investigators deliberated at length as to what cover story they should use under these circumstances to either refute or confirm Dimitri’s claim to be the legal heir of the deceased. At the completion of discussions among private detectives at our offices, it was decided that we would place a wanted ad in “Westie” with the following wording: “Authorized tour guide wanted for tourism sites in the Ukraine. Suitable applicants are requested to fax their resumes and provide a telephone number for personal interview purposes.”

A few days passed and our gamble worked. Either Dimitri or his wife read the ad and his resume was faxed to the number listed in the paper.  An appointment was made to meet him in a café in the Azrieli Mall.  At the meeting, the investigators told Dimitri that a group of former Russian espionage service employees was planning a trip for their families to the most important tourist sites in the Ukraine.

Dimitri was very excited about the attractive job offer, and said to the private investigators sitting across from him that“, This sounds very interesting. I’m the best person for this job.”

In order to motivate Dimitri to reveal the true story about himself and his family, it was made clear to him that our clients were very sensitive to any strangers in their midst. We explained to him that he had to share every detail about his family and past employment with us.

The honey trap was set, and Dimitri got sucked into it like a butterfly. He was not concerned with Ms. Israeli’s inheritance during that meeting. Dimitri began to disclose information freely. His whole family tree was revealed to us. The meeting was filmed by a hidden camera and secretly audio taped. At the end of the meeting we shook hands with Dimitri and promised him that we would check his information and get back to him with a concrete offer.

At our agency’s offices, we listened to the tapes.  We transcribed the conversation and wrote a conclusive report, revealing how Dimitri had fabricated his family tree in an attempt to make him appear as the rightful heir to the estate of the deceased.  The report was submitted to the client who had ordered the investigation.  Needless to say, the General Legal Executor was very surprised by the findings of our investigation.

Dimitri Koznitsov was anxiously waiting for two fateful decisions to be made. The first, a job offer as a tour guide and the second, winning a valuable estate. The wait did not continue for long. One day, approximately two weeks later, Dimitri came home at the end of a workday to find an envelope in his mailbox with the return address belonging to the Legal Department of the General Legal Executor.

“What now? What do they want from me? ”he asked himself, and then remembered the inheritance he was about to receive. He excitedly opened the envelope. He pulled out the letter, and then his face dropped:

Dear Mr. Dimitri Koznitsov,

“Your request to receive the estate has been definitively rejected! Investigations that we conducted revealed that the details you provided in your request were false. A complaint against you has been filed with the Israeli Police for forging a document and attempting to receive something deceptively.”

Shocked by the content of the letter, he was restless. “No inheritance”, Dimitri lamented. He could only take comfort in the new job awaiting him as a tour guide in the Ukraine. It is our estimation that Dimitri never made the connection between the meeting held at the Azrieli Mall with private investigators from our agency and the letter sent by the General Legal Executor. Dimitri is still, till this day, waiting to return to the country of his childhood. Let him wait.

By: Uri Shitrit