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Jacobson pleaded guilty to money laundering connected to an illegal online pharmacy in San Diego in 2008. But the plea was sealed while he helped investigators with their case and he travelled around the world, spending time with senior ministers in the Canadian government.
Few knew about his trouble with American law enforcement until he failed to show up for a sentencing hearing in San Diego in July, at which point Judge Irma Gonzalez, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, issued a warrant for his arrest.
Jacobson, who grew up in Winnipeg, has dual Canadian-Israeli citizenship, and until last year had a credit card clearing company in Tel Aviv, Paygea, which processed payments for online gaming sites and adult websites. Israeli media reports say that when the company ceased operations, it left creditors in the lurch.
Jacobson is a prominent member of the Canadian Jewish community and has been a strong backer of the Conservative government. He was previously on the board of the Canada-Israel Chamber of Commerce and the Canada-Israel Committee.
In May, 2009, he was master of ceremonies for a party celebrating the 61st anniversary of the founding of Israel in the West Block of Parliament Hill, introducing the keynote speaker, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
Next month, Kenney was scheduled to appear with Jacobson at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, where the minister will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa. Jacobson, who was to be the master of ceremonies, withdrew after his legal troubles became public.
Jacobson is suing Mark Adler, the Conservative MP for York Centre.
In his statement of claim, filed in October, 2011, Jacobson alleges that in 2009 and 2010 he loaned $ 265,000 to Adler and his Economic Club of America, an offshoot of the Economic Club of Canada, a firm Adler started to provide a forum for high-powered guest speakers in Toronto.
In March, Jacobson was photographed with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The photo was taken at a reception in the Railway Room on the evening of March 2, 2012, where about 150 or 200 people gathered to greet the two prime ministers.
From 2004 to 2011, Jacobson donated about $ 10,000 to the Conservative Party, including donations to the central party and to the riding associations of former MP Wajid Khan, Environment Minister Peter Kent and Labour Minister Lisa Raitt.