Police Arrest 6 in ultra-Orthodox Charity Swindle

from Israel HaYom:

Police bust suspected ultra-Orthodox false charity swindle operation

Jerusalem police on Sunday arrested six men, five of them ultra-Orthodox, on suspicion that they had swindled millions of shekels out of well-meaning citizens over the course of years, Army Radio reported.

The six are suspected of soliciting donations for the needy and keeping the donations for themselves while failing to report the income to the authorities.

… The months-long undercover investigation that culminated in Sunday’s arrests revealed that the suspects ran an institution, opened in 2000, in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, that advertised providing no-interest loans to young religious men for housing and raised funds for the needy, among other things. The office apparently employed dozens of employees and operated under various names, including “the widow and orphan foundation,” “the national council for troubled families” or “good deed foundation” and more.

Police suspect that the six men in custody had falsely claimed to have the endorsement of famous rabbis to raise millions of shekels. They also allegedly collected donations abroad, especially from American Jews, through their emissaries around the world.