Israel Baseball League founder faces fraud lawsuit

The founder of Israel's financially struggling professional baseball league is being sued by a Florida woman who claims he defrauded her of the $275,000 she had invested in his bagel business and instead spent the money for the league and personal expenses. Natalie Blacher claims that she bought stock in SJR Foods Inc. after Lawrence Baras assured her that the company, of which he was president, was financially sound. After repeatedly asking for the company's financial information and being rebuffed, she found that the company was $1.5 million in debt, according to the federal lawsuit. The company was dissolved in May. Messages left for Baras, who is acting as his own lawyer, at the Boston offices of the Israel Baseball League and SJR Foods were not immediately returned. In court documents filed on October 31, Baras denied all of Blacher's allegations.