Benefits fraud rings steals nearly NIS 7 million from national insurance

Defendants presented false documents to NII, IDF relating to mental status of citizens in order to receive state disability allowances.

Money cash Shekels currency 521 (photo credit: Reuters)
Money cash Shekels currency 521
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Jerusalem District Attorney-General’s Office filed indictments against two city residents on Sunday for conspiracy, aggravated fraud and forgery.
The offenses were committed for the purposes of illegally claiming national insurance payments, according to the indictments.
The fraudulent claims are calculated to have cost the National Insurance Institute close to NIS 7 million.
The defendants allegedly presented false documents to the National Insurance Institute and the IDF relating to the mental status of numerous citizens in order to receive state disability allowances as well as military service exemptions. In return, the two men charged with the offenses took payments from the claimants who received the various state benefits.
Three men were arrested at the beginning of the month in connection with these offenses but only two have been charged.
According to the indictments, the two defendants, aged 28 and 27, would instruct the prospective fraudulent claimants exactly how to falsely present themselves to National Insurance Institute committees and psychiatrists, including how to speak and act, in order to ensure that they would be given disability status and thus entitlement to state benefits.
In some instances, the defendants themselves allegedly submitted to psychiatric and National Insurance committee evaluation and made false representations to these panels about other claimants. In some cases, this was done on behalf of fictitious people or with the defendants posing as persons other than themselves.
Similarly, in several instances the defendants allegedly falsified the written opinions of psychiatrists and gave them to benefit claimants so that the documents would be included for consideration in their claim for state aid.
In many cases in which false documentation and falsified reports were submitted, the National Insurance Institute ruled that the claimant was indeed entitled to monthly disability allowance payments, and in some instance provided for retroactive payments, according to the indictments.
The total financial cost to the National Insurance Institute of this benefits fraud ring is estimated at NIS 6.8m.
The defendants allegedly instructed soldiers or prospective conscripts how to give a false impression to psychiatrists in order to receive medical exemptions from army service.
In some cases, the indictment accuses the defendants of forging written reports of psychiatrists and giving them to soldiers or prospective conscripts to give to the relevant army officials in order to get the service exemptions.