Jerusalem charity employees arrested over alleged fraud

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The head of a major Jerusalem-based charity and nine employees reportedly were arrested on charges that they sold food for the needy purchased with donations and kept the profits.

Some Israeli media outlets have identified the charity as Hazon Yeshaya, which has collected donations to feed and provide dental care to the needy and, in particular, Holocaust survivors since its founding in 1997. The organization reportedly received money from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

On Sunday, Israel Police seized documents from the charity’s offices in Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reported. The charity is suspected of theft, money laundering, fraudulent receipt of goods and forging corporate documents, according to the newspaper.

Police reportedly launched an undercover investigation of the group several months ago after complaints from the Claims Conference and other groups of donors who believed that the charity exaggerated the assistance it provided to Israel’s needy.

The charity reportedly fabricated a list of food distribution centers throughout Israel.

Police believe that some of contributions did help the needy and Holocaust survivors, Israel Hayom reported.
 

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