Former non-profit head charged with embezzling millions

Money for blind children was purportedly used to cover gambling debts, trips abroad.

311_Moshe RIps (photo credit: Courtesy)
311_Moshe RIps
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The state on Wednesday charged Moshe Rips, the former director-general of Keren Or – The Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities, with stealing close to NIS 4 million over a period of 20 years.
In the indictment, which was filed with the Tel Aviv District Court, the state accused Rips of using the money to cover gambling debts, trips abroad and personal or family expenses.
The indictment includes five separate charges, based on the different methods he used to steal from the NGO.
According to the first charge, the defendant stole NIS 1,993,224 by writing checks in the name of Keren Or to various beneficiaries that had no business connections with it or had not provided services. On the stub, he either fabricated what the check was paid out for or did not write anything.
For these actions, he was charged with theft by a director (126 violations), obtaining something by deceit (162 violations), false entry into documents of a corporate body (162 violations), fraud and breach of faith.
According to the fraud charge, Rips was accused of stealing NIS 1,156,390 by writing out checks in his own name. In the stubs he recorded that the money had been spent on goods and services for Keren Or.
According to the indictment, Keren Or is primarily financed by donations from the US. The rest of the money comes from the Social Welfare Ministry.
The organization’s Web site states that “Keren Or students range in age from infancy to young adulthood. They suffer from blindness paired with either deafness, cerebral palsy, motor dysfunction, autism, brain damage or mental retardation. Upon arrival, each child is evaluated by a team of professionals and is given a highly-specialized, personally tailored educational and therapeutic curriculum."
“Recreational and informal activities – arts and crafts, field trips, parties, cooking, and sports are integrated into Keren Or’s daily routine of therapy and training sessions.”