Fraud at the Jewish Claims Conference
Low life degenerates caught stealing from holocaust victims. How disgusting.
A lack of transparency, dubious real estate deals and now massive fraud — the Jewish Claims Conference is no stranger to negative headlines. Now, the German government has stepped in to ensure that Holocaust victims get their due.
Merely being allowed into the headquarters of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany (JCC) in New York is a fairly rare event. Being granted an audience on the 20th floor with a senior official like Gregory Schneider is even more seldom.
The JCC has always been very secretive. It has never even released figures on the number of staff members who work there. Such opaqueness is highly unusual for such a prominent organization which, since it was established in 1951, has disbursed billions of euros from Germany to Holocaust victims around the world.
But now the Claims Conference has been forced to become more open, at least for the time being. The organization has been shaken by a scandal — a case of “perverse and pervasive fraud,” as US Attorney Preet Bharara described it last week.
For years, a gang of swindlers siphoned off money from two compensation funds by falsifying thousands of applications from presumed victims of Nazi oppression. There are six JCC staff members among the 17 defendants who stand accused of misappropriating a total of $42.5 million (€31 million). “It’s been a very ugly experience,” says Schneider. “We never expected something like that to happen.”
This isn’t the first time that the JCC has received bad press. The organization has often been the subject of negative headlines in the past, thanks to dubious managers, a lack of transparency and strange business practices. In 2007, for instance, long-standing JCC president Rabbi Israel Singer was forced to resign amid allegations that he had used his position as the secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress to embezzle funds.