The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, better known as the Claims Conference, has been responding to calls for more openness and transparency of late in exactly the wrong way. As the organization believed to be the wealthiest in the Jewish world, and with the sacred responsibility of using the billions of dollars at its disposal to care for survivors of the Holocaust, the Claims Conference should be operating in a manner beyond reproach. But the recent scandal related to more than $57 million stolen by a number of employees over a period of 16 years has gone from bad to worse in recent days.
Discussion of ombudsman’s probe into handling of fraud moved up on the schedule.
Story Includes Video:
Stung by a sharply worded e-mail from a board member demanding an immediate copy of an ombudsman’s investigation into the Claims Conference’s handling of $57.3 million in fraudulent claims, a top official of the organization said it would be sent shortly.
Survivors’ group joins Jewish Agency chair in calling for independent review of Claims Conference’s 2001 bungling of fraud tip.
Story Includes Video:
Pressure mounted Monday on the Claims Conference to launch a new probe into how the organization handled a tip in 2001 about fraud within the organization — eight years before the fraud was discovered at a cost of $57.3 million.
Despite questions on Claims Conference fraud investigation, Germans approve $1 billion — largest amount ever — for seniors’ home care.
Amid an internal probe into how the Claims Conference reacted to a tip about fraud within its organization, the German government has negotiated a deal with the group to provide $1 billion over four years in home care for 56,000 elderly Holocaust survivors.
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.