Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Jews will be Jews
FBI investigators have arrested 17 people in New York in connection with a $42.5 million organized fraud against a compensation fund for Holocaust victims. The U.S. Attorney's Office is charging the 17, who include six current and former staff members of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany Claims Conference, which issues payments to Jewish Holocaust victims, with making false financial claims using false documents. The scheme was discovered late in 2009 when Conference officials noticed that several claimants had falsified information to receive pensions from the Hardship Fund, set up by the German government to make one-time payments of $3,600 to Jewish victims of Nazism who emigrated from Soviet bloc countries. In July 2010, the Claims Conference suspended 202 pensions with a total value of $7 million. Since then, it has uncovered suspected fraud in another 456 pensions worth an additional $24.5 million. It also suspects false claims in 4,957 one-time payments under the Hardship Fund, with a total value of $18 million.