Fraud Trial Ends in Convictions
After half-a-day of deliberations, a jury convicted Semyon Domnitser – the highest ranking insider to participate in the fraud against the Claims Conference – and two co-conspirators who recruited applicants who received benefits to which they were not entitled. With the verdicts against these three defendants, all 31 people who played roles in the theft of $57 million dollars intended to benefit victims of the Nazi genocide have been convicted.
A statement released by the Claims Conference following the verdict announcement says, “Since the Claims Conference first brought this case to the FBI and USAO in December 2009, the authorities have shown the utmost dedication to investigating this crime and prosecuting those responsible. The Claims Conference fully cooperated with federal authorities in bringing to justice those who were responsible for committing this complex scheme. These three guilty verdicts, together with the guilty pleas of 28 others, close this devastating chapter in the Claims Conference history.
The Claims Conference’s continuing close relationship with the German government is essential to ongoing vital work on behalf of Nazi victims. This year, $370 million will be paid to individual survivors through compensation programs negotiated and administered by the Claims Conference and funded by the German government. An additional $300 million, including $180 million from the German government, will be allocated by the Claims Conference for homecare and other essential aid.”
After the fraud was discovered, the German government agreed to the Claims Conference suggestion that an outside consulting firm should be engaged. Deloitte was hired by the German government to review the processing systems for both individual compensation programs and homecare allocations, identify any potential weaknesses, and recommend improvements. After several months, Deloitte submitted a packet of recommendations, each of which has been adopted or are in the process of being adopted.
For more on the fraud see, Inside the Claims Conference Fraud Trial.