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Haredi institutions: Faked identities Photo: Reuters
Haredi institutions: Faked identities Photo: Reuters

Police: Haredim embezzled millions in ID fraud

Raid on yeshivas' offices reveals fake IDs believed to have been used to reap student stipends

Yair Altman
Published: 11.21.10, 17:35 / Israel News

Jerusalem Police on Sunday raided the offices of three ultra-Orthodox non-profit organizations, which operate yeshivas in the capital and nearby towns of Beit Shemesh and Beitar Illit. Officers believe that the organizations embezzled millions from the State.


The haredi institutions are suspected to have produced fake IDs in order to receive monthly stipends from the Education Ministry for alleged yeshiva students.


Six suspects were arrested and four others were brought in for questioning. More than a 1,000 fake ID cards were discovered in the raid, along with computers and machines for printing and laminating the cards, and other equipment.


A preliminary hearing for a number of men detained during the raid has been scheduled for Monday.


Police officials said they monitored the organizations in question for quite some time. "The organizations presented a false record of hundreds of students who attend each yeshiva, and received money for these students," one official explained. 


"The organizations we raided worked as factories through and through, systematically producing fake IDs, some for students not studying at yeshivas and some for people who do not exist," said Chief-Superintendant Haim Shmueli, who headed the raid.


"All of this was done in order to enlarge the annual stipends paid by the state. We checked, and found that just a slim percentage of students reported by the yeshivas actually studied there."


Police are also investigating the location laundering the embezzled money, and expect to make more arrests in the case.



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