JERUSALEM (JTA) — Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel’s prime minister, has been indicted on fraud and breach of trust charges for ordering some $96,000 worth of private meals from high-end restaurants rather than using the residence’s cook to prepare meals.
The indictment alleging “systematic fraud” was filed Thursday in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.
Ezra Saidoff, a former deputy director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, was indicted on similar charges as well as falsification by a public servant.
The meals were ordered from gourmet restaurants between 2010 and 2013 in violation of rules that prevent those living in the prime minister’s residence from ordering meals from the outside when there is a cook on staff.
According to the indictment, Sara Netanyahu was aware that she was violating the rules when she ordered the meals. Her attorneys have said she did not know she was violating the rules.
The investigation began in 2015 after the State Comptroller’s Office issued a report on the Netanyahu family household expenses.
Negotiations for a plea deal that began in January have been unsuccessful, according to Haaretz, because Sara Netanyahu has not agreed to pay back the full amount of the meals and does not want to admit to the allegations.
Other investigations against her were closed after no criminal wrongdoing was determined – including the Netanyahu family keeping thousands of shekels in refunds from deposits from returned bottles over several years.