Jailed­fraud­ster‘had­stolen £40,000fromeru­v­fund’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

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.”

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