Police: Councilman carried out kosher certification fraud,
A Rishon Lezion city council member and former deputy mayor worked with associates to fraudulently receive a kashrut certificate from the local rabbinate, the Israel Police said Monday.
The city councilman – whose name is under a gag order – is suspected of working with another suspect from the local rabbinate to fraudulently receive certification despite the fact that his establishment didn’t meet the requirements.
A third suspect not employed by local authorities was also detained Monday as part of the investigation. Police said the investigation was carried out over the past several weeks before it went public with raids on Monday.
Late last month, Holon chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef suspended himself from all matters relating to kashrut following a High Court petition on the matter.
The son of the late Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was indicted in the Tel Aviv District Court last December on two accounts of breach of trust. Yosef allegedly exploiting his position as Holon’s chief rabbi to force food businesses to purchase meat that was given kashrut certification by the licensing authority Badatz Beit Yosef, which is owned by his family.
The indictment stated that he forbade food companies from using meat or produce supplied by competing kashrut authorities.