Holocaust Fund Fraud

Man, this is just horrible:


While fleeing the Nazis in 1941, an 11-year-old girl dodged airplane bombs as she crossed the Dnieper River in Ukraine, ultimately finding refuge in Donetsk, where she and her mother lived in hiding until the liberation of 1944. 

A 13-year-old boy escaped from Kiev with his mother and younger sister, shuttling from basements to barns and sometimes the forest, where they often stayed for weeks. These tales were among thousands of similar accounts given in the name of elderly immigrants who were seeking reparations from the German government through a fund established to provide help to survivors of Nazi persecution. 

But many of the stories were works of fiction or embellishment of facts, perpetrated by a group that included six employees and custodians of the fund, which is based in New York, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday. Eleven other defendants were outsiders who recruited and funneled applicants to the programs. 

Over 16 years, the suspects used fake identification documents, doctored government records and a knowledge of Holocaust history to defraud the fund of more than $42 million, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday by the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara.

I don't know much about the two funds in the story. I'll be very interested in hearing about the nature of oversight for both funds. 
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in National

From This Author

Just In