Their names contained keywords associated with helping Israelis and others in need.
But according to New York's state attorney general, 19 organizatons tied to four individuals were fraudulent set-ups intended to aggressively hoodwink Israel supporters into donations that were mostly used for their own benefit.
In State Supreme Court in Brooklyn Thursday, Eric Schneiderman alleged the four "brazenly abused the generosity of the public” by withdrawing more than $2.5 million raised in donations for personal and family expenses from 2007 to 2013.
The organizations included Hatzalah Rescue of Israel, Magen Israel, Israel Leukemia and Cancer Society, Our Children and Zaka Israel. They were not affiliated with similarly named organizations.
The defendants named in the complaint, which was obtained by The Jewish Week, are Yaakov Weingarten, 52 and his wife, Rivka, 52, and two of his employees, Simon Weiss, 28, and David Yifat, 66.