Haredi yeshiva head sentenced to 17 months for defrauding state

He was found guilty of defrauding the state of NIS 2.2m by faking student enrollment.

Shekel money bills (photo credit: REUTERS)
Shekel money bills
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Jerusalem District Court has sentenced a haredi man to 17 months imprisonment and levied NIS 900,000 of asset forfeitures against him for defrauding the state of NIS 2.2 million by forging student enrollment in his yeshivas.
Pinchas Zidman pleaded guilty and was convicted on charges of aggravated fraud, false registration of documents and money laundering.
From 2012 to 2015, Zidman established several institutions of Torah learning which were registered as non-profit organizations.
The institutions did indeed exist, but Zidman doubled the amount of students registered there to obtain larger grants from the Education Ministry by falsely registering foreign citizens who did not actually study there.
Having secured these funds, Zidman and his associates sought to hide, disguise and obscure how they used the money, who was making use of the funds and where it was being used.
“The court has accepted the position of the State Attorney that a person who steals state funds on a systematic and extended basis through fraudulent and deceitful means should get an extended prison sentence behind lock and key,” said Attorney Uri Goldstein, of the Jerusalem District State Attorney’s Office.