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Supermarket Director in Israel Confesses to Arson; Falsified Records

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Abraham Feinberg, American-born director of Supersol, Ltd., Israel’s largest chain of supermarkets, signed a confession today, according to police, admitting that he had set the fire which, two weeks ago, destroyed the Supersol office and warehouse here. Most of the company’s archives were destroyed in the conflagration.

Arrested on suspicion of arson last week, Feinberg had persisted in denying the accusation. Finally, police authorities announced today, he said he would confess so as to spare his wife and friends who were ready to defend him.

In his confession, as summarized by the authorities, he stated that he had set the fire in order to destroy documents that could have proved he had made false bookkeeping entries, causing discrepancies in the firm’s records. He allegedly told the police he had falsified records to show that the business was successful whereas, in fact, “the situation was not too rosy,” contending that no one had actually benefited from the falsification of the records.

The police report said that Feinberg stated it had taken him 24 hours to plan the fire. He said, allegedly, that he had left his home one night, without his wife’s knowledge, and set fire to the warehouse where the firm’s records were stored.

After announcing Feinberg’s confession, the police authorities added that they had arrested another American, Moshe Yehuda Heinman, the company’s controller. He has been remanded for five days, pending further investigation. The police authorities said that Heinman is not suspected of physically aiding Feinberg in setting the fire, but is accused of helping Feinberg with some of the record falsifications.

Feinberg, who is now an Israeli citizen, is a graduate of Hebrew Union College, former holder of a Fulbright Fellowship, and had been a volunteer aide in some important archeological work in Israel.

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