A FRAUDSTER who was jailed for five years after conning his in-laws has been accused of stealing £40,000 earmarked for the construction of a community eruv.
Dan Jacobs was alleged to have taken the money while sitting on the committee responsible for raising funds for the eruv in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
The eruv trustees made the allegation, following Jacobs’s conviction for other offences at a trial last week.
They revealed that the committee decided not to report the theft at the time. It is understood that the stolen money was repaid by Jacobs’s relatives.
Jacobs left the committee in 2009 after three years as its secretary. The eruv was set up in 2010.
In a statement on Wednesday, the EBOR Eruv Charitable Trust wrote that “around May 2009, the trustees were unable to obtain the management accounts which they had requested from Mr Jacobs.
“Upon investigation by the trustees it became clear that Mr Jacobs had taken funds from the trust’s account without authorisation.”
The trust said it had not reported the theft because “the trustees reached a position where all funds were repaid, andsanctionswereputinplaceagainst Mr Jacobs by local synagogues.
“This process enabled the trust to proceed without delay to build the eruv which has been serving the community now for five years.”
“The legal advice received was clear that the trustees had no obligation to report the matter to the police if the funds were repaid; and that their priority should be to do their best to recover
Dan Jacobs: theft was not reported the funds for the Trust so that its charitable objectives could be fulfilled.
“The trustees acted on the advice received and did what they considered to be best for the trust.”
Jacobs, a former member of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue, went on to commit fraud offences, for which he was jailed at Harrow Crown Court last week.
He had admitted five counts of fraud committed over nearly five years between 2010 and 2015, taking a total of £120,573 from his wife’s parents and elderly grandmother, who lives in a care home.
Passing sentence Judge Ian Stern said Jacobs had subjected his family to a “frankly unbelievable” level of deceit to fund his gambling addiction, which saw him visit a casino 2,000 times in the space of eight years.
He told Jacobs that he had “completely controlled [his] father-in-law and mother-in-law and the grandmother” for four years while living under their roof after his own house was repossessed. They had been left “decimated”. Jacobs, a former yeshiva student, used cash machines to withdraw money from five bank accounts belonging to the family, keeping them compliant through a combination of intimidation and lies.
Following the trial, Rabbi Chaim Kanterovitz of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue said the“very sad and very tragic” crime had rocked the whole community.
“His family has certainly been very badly affected by it. People are in shock — a lot of people didn’t know about it, and have been very hurt and seriously affected by his actions,” he said.
Defence lawyer Jeffrey Israel told the “Mr Jacobs is devastated at the impact his actions have had on his family and has already taken steps in prison to address his gambling addiction.”