State indicts 11 in NIS 48 m. Haredi yeshiva fraud scheme

The Jerusalem District Attorney's Office on Monday filed an indictment against 11 defendants for an NIS 48 million fraud and money-laundering scheme involving obtaining government grants with falsified reports regarding straw companies and fictitious lists of yeshiva students.
The defendants all belong to the haredi faction Kehilat Hamatmidim.
The indictment also charges the defendants with witness intimidation. The falsified reports and grant applications appeared to be from different associations located in different places, although in reality, all of the "straw" companies were run by the defendants as a front for enriching themselves, said the indictment.
According to the indictment, the defendants also represented having bought real preexisting companies to further lend legitimacy to their grant applications, even as the sales of the companies were also fake.
Also, the defendants undertook various additional fund transfers to hide the eventual flow of the funds to the defendants, alleged the indictment.
After the investigation and interrogations started, some of the defendants tried to obstruct the investigation by intimidating potential witnesses, the indictment said.
The state will be requesting forfeiture and seizure of those assets of the defendants that it has uncovered.