US charges 17 for stealing German-funded Holocaust reparations
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|Wed, 11-10-2010 - 9:10am|
A New York-based organization financed by Germany and intended for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution has allegedly been cheated out of some $42 million, as US prosecutors announce a nine-year fraud scandal.
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United States authorities on Tuesday filed charges against 17 individuals for a long-running fraud scheme that cheated a Holocaust victims fund out of $42 million (30.5 million euros).
Prosecutors said in their indictment that the defendants fraudulently obtained some 5,500 payments from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany between 2000 and 2009.
The organization, founded in 1951 in New York, is a non-profit group that provides financial assistance to Jewish victims of the Nazis. It said two of its funds were targeted by the scheme: one that makes single payments of $3,600 and one that makes monthly payments of $411.
FBI assistant director Janice K Fedarcyk called the scandal a "brazen miscarriage of the compensation programs."
"Each of the defendants played a role in creating, filing and processing fraudulent claims on behalf of non-qualifying applicants - and dividing up the spoils," she said. "Funds established and financed by the German government to aid Holocaust survivors were siphoned off by the greedy and not paid out, as intended, to the worthy."
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