Sara Netanyahu admits to misusing state funds, avoids jail time


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, admitted in court Sunday that she misused state funds to order catered meals from high-end restaurants.

Her plea deal signed in late May involves no jail time, but she will pay $15,210 as part of a fine and of restitution, and now has a criminal record.

She was convicted of intentionally making use of another’s error after in a case that accused her of ordering $96,000 worth of meals rather than using the cook at the prime minister’s residence to prepare her food.

The state also can file a civil lawsuit to get Netanyahu to force the return the rest of the money, under the deal.

Sara Netanyahu violated the regulations that prevent those living in the residence from ordering meals from the outside when there is a cook on staff. The violations occurred in 2010 and 2013.

The investigation began in 2015 after the State Comptroller’s Office issued a report on the Netanyahu family household expenses.

Ezra Saidoff, a former caretaker at the prime minister’s residence who also faced charges in the case, under a separate plea deal will pay a fine and perform community service.

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