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17 Charged With Defrauding Holocaust Fund of $42 Million

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Authorities say a Holocaust fund that helped victims was victimized itself.

Seventeen people were charged in federal court in Manhattan with a long-running scam that defrauded Holocaust funds for survivors out of $42 million, authorities announced today. Some of the fraudulent claims date back to 1993.

Authorities said employees of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany — also known as the Claims Conference — approved more than 5,500 fraudulent applications, resulting in bogus payouts from the German government through the fund. Workers and those who were part of the conspiracy kept a portion of the payments, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York said.

“If ever there was a cause that you would hope and expect would be immune from base greed and criminal fraud, it would be the Claims Conference, which every day assists thousands of poor and elderly victims of Nazi persecution,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

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