NEW YORK (JTA) — The Claims Conference fired three employees for approving fake Holocaust claims.
The dismissals occurred last week, and the federal government has launched an investigation, according to the New York Jewish Week. The Claims Conference said it’s not clear whether the employees simply were negligent or willfully sought to defraud the German government, which pays the compensation. The group would not reveal the names of those fired. While the full amount of the fraudulent claims is not yet known, officials already have identified fake claims in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The German government was defrauded,” said Gregory Schneider, the Claims Conference’s executive vice president. “No money was taken from Holocaust survivors," he said. "This was done by very sophisticated persons or a group whose aim it was to defraud."
Schneider said he had hired an outside auditor to investigate after two fraudulent claims were submitted within two weeks of each other. The group then turned over the findings to the U.S. attorney’s office.