Arnold Zaler Arrested at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport After Returning to the U.S. From Israel

DENVER (LAWFUEL) – Arnold Zaler, age 59, was arrested early this morning at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Zaler, a fugitive charged in U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, with fraud, flew into the United States from Tel Aviv, Israel. Special Agents with the FBI, and the State Department met the plane to make the arrest. Zaler will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Atlanta today. Zaler will likely be transported to Colorado by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Zaler voluntarily returned to the United States. He was then arrested. His return to the U.S. took significant coordination between many U.S. government agencies and the Israeli National Police. His return and subsequent arrest could not have been done without the time and effort of employees at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, especially Consular Services and Diplomatic Security Officers in Tel Aviv and Atlanta.

Arnold Zaler was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on February 25, 2008. He was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond on March 11, 2008. At that time, Zaler was ordered to forfeit his Passport and travel documents. He was also ordered not to travel outside the State of Colorado. Zaler later fled to Israel. On April 11, 2008, the government asked the Court to revoke his order of release and issue an arrest warrant.

According to the indictment, Zaler was in the business of selling kosher hot dogs and other food products. From October 14, 2005, through January 17, 2007, Zaler devised a scheme to defraud a number of different businesses operating stadiums and arenas, by making false representations and promises. Among other alleged crimes, Zaler prepared a false purchase order which misrepresented that a arena company ordered hot dogs from Zaler’s Kosher Meats totaling $771,200. As part of the scheme, Zaler prepared and caused to be prepared two additional purchase orders, which misrepresented that two companies had ordered hot dogs, totaling $793,920.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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