Suspects in haredi charity fraud released with restrictions

January 19, 2012 19:25


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Four of the six men arrested on Sunday on suspicion of having committed financial offenses in their management of a charity were released from prison on Thursday under limited conditions.

Rabbi Amram Shapira of the Eda Haredit organization, who was also arrested on Sunday, was released on Sunday night after the judge said there was no evidence against him. Eyal Golan, Rafael Elazar Bar-Azar, Shmuel Yerushalmi-Lovtzki and Haim Yisrael Mitzenberg were all released to 15-days house arrest.

Apart from Golan, the suspects were also banned from the charity headquarters in Mea She’arim, Jerusalem, for 90 days, and all five forbidden from communicating with each other for 60 days. The sixth man, Ben- Zion Sobel, was released to house arrest on Monday.

The men were arrested on suspicion of embezzling millions of shekels from the charity they run, the National Committee to Save Needy Families. They were also charged with money laundering, tax evasion and other tax offenses. Their arrest sparked violent disturbances in Mea She’arim on Sunday afternoon.

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