Charity boss arrested
THE HEAD of an Israeli soup kitchen has been arrested along with nine employees amid claims that the charity stole from its donors.
Hazon Yeshaya, which was reportedly the subject of an undercover fraud investigation, was founded by Rabbi Abrahamisrael15yearsago.atitsheight it claimed to make and serve some 14,000 meals daily to Israel’s poor.
This weekend, the charity’s head and his colleagues were arrested on suspicion of pocketing donations from fundraising groups in the diaspora, including money given to the charity by Holocaust survivors.
According to Ha’aretz, investigators believe those accused of the scam may have sold food that was intended f or the soup kitchen to external buyers, and then kept the profits.
It is also thought that Hazon Yeshaya issued false lists of food distribution points around Israel. There are also allegations involving money laundering and forged documents.
A police spokesman said that the charity “receives tens of millions of dollars from donors abroad”.
Suspicions were raised about the charity’s activities in October, when donors to the British and Canadian arms of Friends of Hazon Yeshaya questioned where their money was going.
The British group, which raised about £750,000 annually, suspended its fundraising operations and shut down in December over the allegations. In addition to financial mismanagement these referred to the misleading of donors in relation to funding religious training.