WJC head Lauder demands an accounting about handling of fraud case; cover-up alleged.
Who knew what, and when?
Those are the questions critics are asking following the disclosure that the Claims Conference received an anonymous letter in 2001 identifying several fraudulent Holocaust-era restitution claims — nearly a decade before the organization halted a massive fraud scheme.
Within the past year, the Claims Conference has obtained approximately $700 million in pledged funding from the German government for homecare for Holocaust victims through 2014, the result of intensive and prolonged negotiations with one focus: to provide the help that Nazi victims need in order to remain living in their own homes for as long as possible. Having been abandoned by the world in their youth, the Claims Conference has been determined that they shall not also be abandoned in their final years.
Officials of the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany say they expect to recover less than $1 million of the $50 million in fraudulent Holocaust claims on behalf of Germany, which has now hired an accounting firm to conduct a broad audit, the Jewish Week has learned.
By disparaging the US government's support of demands that Poland compensate Jews for property stolen from them during the Holocaust, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski exacerbated the firestorm created by his government's peremptory decision to walk away from long-promised restitution legislation for spurious economic reasons.
In wake of fraud revelation, group to move on new disbursement committee.
As the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany seeks to root out additional cases of fraud, the $42.5 million scandal that has rocked the organization has rekindled dissatisfaction with the group’s annual allocation of tens of millions of dollars.
To address those growing complaints, Julius Berman, the Claims Conference chairman, told The Jewish Week he plans to announce “in a couple of days” appointments to a long-delayed special committee that is to review past and future disbursements.
Scheme to rip off German government went back to 1994.
An 11-month federal investigation into allegedly fraudulent Holocaust reparation claims resulted in the announced arrest this week of 17 Brooklyn residents — including six insiders — on charges that they bilked the Claims Conference out $42.5 million.
I resigned from the board of the Claims Conference in June after the chairman of the board and of the Control Committee didn’t accept my proposal to obtain an objective expert’s evaluation of the operational efficiency of the conference (“Clean Up The Claims Conference,” Opinion, Aug. 27).