Claims Conference Expects Minimum Fraud Recovery

from The Jewish Week:

Claims Conference Expects To Recover Only 2 Percent Of Fraudulent Payments

Officials of the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany say they expect to recover less than $1 million of the $50 million in fraudulent Holocaust claims on behalf of Germany, which has now hired an accounting firm to conduct a broad audit, the Jewish Week has learned.

Those revelations came during a July 13 meeting here of the Conference’s board of directors and were not in a press release issued after the meeting. The directors were also reportedly told that although the ongoing investigation of the crime has so far placed the loss at $50 million, it is “nowhere near the extent of the fraud.”

… The fraud, which has resulted in the arrest of 19 people including six insiders, began in 1994. Focused on the Russian-speaking Jewish community in Brooklyn, it involved taking out ads and hiring so-called recruiters to find individuals who could provide documents that could be altered to show they had lived in areas of the former Soviet Union or other Eastern European countries during the Holocaust to make them eligible for German compensation payments.

The Claims Conference directors were reportedly told that the elderly Russian Jews who provided documents to the thieves were mostly poor and “in most cases they did not know” they were being involved in a crime.