Israeli Charity Officials Arrested for Fraud

from The Jerusalem Post:

Suspects stole donations for Holocaust survivors

Police arrested the head of Jerusalem-based humanitarian aid network Hazon Yeshaya, a charity that provides thousands of hot meals each day to people in need, and nine of the organization’s employees Sunday on suspicion of pocketing millions of dollars from donors abroad for poor people, including Holocaust victims.

According to suspicions, the suspects cheated donors out of the funds after making them believe the money would be used for purchasing food for the needy, when in fact the money was used to purchase food that was sold to buyers in the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community, police suspect.

The deception of donors allegedly included the listing of made-up food distribution centers.

… In addition to theft, police suspect the charity of money laundering, aggravated fraudulent receipt of goods and forging corporate documents.

… “This charity is considered to be one of the largest in the country,” police said. “It receives tens of millions of dollars from donors abroad.”

[eJP note: On November 27, 2011, eJP first reported alleged problems with Hazon Yeshaya by publishing a statement from Hazon Yeshaya UK that they were suspending transmission of funds to Israel.

Partially as a result of eJP‘s publicity, Hazon Yeshaya issued a statement two days later, saying in part: “Hazon Yeshaya has cooperated fully with the audit by Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar, which was commissioned by the UK Friends, and has confidence that their report will show that there are no financial irregularities or problems with its humanitarian operations.”

Hazon Yeshaya in Israel has not responded to inquiries about yesterday’s arrests.]